May 2019 Archives

Yay - Art Laffer gets recognition

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From the New York Times:

Trump to Give Arthur Laffer, Tax-Cut Champion, the Presidential Medal of Freedom
President Trump will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to the economist Arthur Laffer, whose tax-cutting enthusiasm has shaped decades of Republican policymaking, including Mr. Trump’s.

The White House, which said Friday that it will convey the award on June 19, called Mr. Laffer “one of the most influential economists in American history.”

Mr. Laffer, 78, was an adviser to Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, helping to craft the candidate’s tax plan, and a co-author of the recent book “Trumponomics,” which is a celebration of the president and nearly all of his economic programs.

Good - Laffer's idea have proven correct time and time again. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the country’s highest civilian honor.

We have tons of rare earth ores in the USA. It is just that importing it from China is cheaper for the end users. China doesn't pay for the environmental controls and they pay their slaves workers a pittance. Now that our foreign trade balances are being balanced, things change. From FOX Business:

First rare earth processing facility outside of China to be built in Texas
Rare earth elements are used every day. They are metals that are used in everything from cell phones to cars, televisions, military jet engines and medical devices.

However, the tit-for-tat trade Opens a New Window. war between the U.S. and China, Opens a New Window. may present a challenge to the industry which heavily relies on China. The retaliatory tariffs from China on $60 billion worth U.S. goods goes into effect this weekend.

Blue Line Corp., a chemical company based in Texas, is the first and only company outside of China that can process small batches of rare earth. They just partnered with Australian rare earths mining company Lynas to build a processing facility in the U.S.

“The group of materials we're looking at doing are the heavier rare earth materials and there's no commercial plant in the world that is actually separating these materials other than inside China. And these are very strategic materials that are used for a number of high tech and defense applications,” said Blue Line Corporation CEO Jon Blumenthal in an exclusive interview with FOX Business’ Lauren Simonetti Opens a New Window. .

Good news - maybe this will stimulate the production of Thorium - a lot of these minerals (Th = Monazite Ore) are found in proximity. Cheap plentiful energy source.

Early evening

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Heading over to YouTube for a little bit and then an early bedtime. Did not sleep well last night and had a full day today. Up to the farm tomorrow afternoon.

They certainly seem to be violating it - from Yahoo/Reuters:

U.S. Justice Department prepares antitrust investigation of Google - sources
The U.S. Justice Department is preparing an investigation of Alphabet Inc's Google to determine whether the tech giant broke antitrust law in how it operates its sprawling online businesses, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Officials from the Justice Department's Antitrust Division and Federal Trade Commission, both of which enforce antitrust law, met in recent weeks to give Justice jurisdiction over Google, the sources said.

One source said the probe focused on allegations that Google gave preference to its own businesses in searches.

The potential probe was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

I found the WSJ link but it is behind a paywall so not going to post it here. About time - Facebook next.

Two letters from Doug Collins

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Representative Doug Collins is a member of the United States House Committee on the Judiciary. Yesterday, he wrote two letters - one to William Barr (Attorney General) and one to Michael Horowitz (Inspector General of the US Department of Justice). Links to PDF files: 05_30_19_Letter_to_Barr.pdf and 05_30_19_Letter_to_Horowitz_.pdf

The files were saved as an image so I cannot excerpt text but here is the critical paragraph:

20190531-barr.JPG

The gist of this is that the FBI Deputy Assistant Director leaked stuff to the media that he should not have. That would be Peter Strzok. He of the Hillary illegal email server non-prosecution. Rolling up the deep state actor by actor.

The North Korean way

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We could adopt some of Kim's leadership techniques - from Vox Day:

The Korean model
Kim Jong-un's practice of holding his officials strictly accountable might set a useful precedent for President Trump, especially in light of the way in which so many employees in the State Department, CIA and FBI have been behaving since his election:

Kim Jong-un has executed his envoy to the U.S. for 'betraying the supreme leader' as part of ruthless purge of officials after the dictator's failed summit with Donald Trump, it has been claimed.

Kim Hyok Chol is said to have been shot by a firing squad in March at Mirim Airport for being 'won over to the US,' during nuclear negotiations with Trump.

The top diplomat, who accompanied Kim on his private train ahead of the summit in Vietnam, was one of four senior foreign ministry officials executed at the airfield, a source told South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo. The other officials were not named, but all allegedly became U.S. 'spies' after the failed second negotiations between Trump and Kim Jong-un ended abruptly in February.

What do you think the odds are that Kim Hyok Chol was actually less loyal to the North Korean government than most of the State Department has been to the US government? This is portrayed as lawlessness on the part of North Korea, and no doubt it is, but in truth, the USA is more lawless and its government officials are less accountable to the people than many other countries these days.

True words. Some good comments at the site too.

Good meeting

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Contractor does a lot of similar work and has done a couple projects on the island.

Got a bunch of CDs in at the library so heading out to pick them up. Heading to the farm tomorrow.

Go out for coffee, run a few errands, come back home and problem solved. From Reuters twitter account:

Make it hurt financially - from the Associated Press:

Trump announces new Mexican tariffs in response to migrants
In a surprise announcement that could derail a major trade deal, President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he is slapping a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports, effective June 10, to pressure the country to do more to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants trying to cross the U.S. border.

He said the percentage will gradually increase — up to 25% — “until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied.”

The decision showed the administration going to new lengths, and looking for new levers, to pressure Mexico to take action — even if those risk upending other policy priorities, like the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a trade deal that is the cornerstone of Trump’s legislative agenda and seen as beneficial to his reelection effort. It also risks further damaging the already strained relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, two countries whose economics are deeply intertwined.

Yeah - it will make things difficult for a while but when you consider that Mexico is aiding and abetting this open flood of illegals across our border, something needs to be done. The long-term cost will be a lot lower than handing these people free food, medical care, education and money for the next 30 years.

This is from Patrick Moore who co-founded Greenpeace but left them when they went from scientific to political.

Busy day today

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Meeting with someone today at 1PM and then heading to Bellingham to deal with some stuff and to the farm.

A quick surf before coffee...

The tool to re-write history

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Looks like crooked Hillary is putting together a propaganda machine - from Bloomberg:

Hillary Clinton and Daughter Chelsea to Form Production Company
Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea are forming a production company to pursue film and television projects, making a foray into Hollywood after decades in the public eye.

The two have spoken to studios about financing a pipeline of programs, said people familiar with the matter. They would give a studio first crack at releasing the projects, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are at an early stage.

The family hopes to use film and television to influence culture and society now that Hillary Clinton is out of politics. They plan to focus on stories by and about women. The production company is one of many potential business opportunities that Hillary Clinton, 71, is considering.

It will be fun to see how much money they waste on this bit of vanity.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

Federal subpoena demands records on Andrew Gillum and his campaign for governor
Andrew Gillum is a focal point of a recently issued federal grand jury subpoena that demands information on the former Democratic candidate for governor, his campaign, his political committee, a wealthy donor, a charity he worked for and a former employer.

The subpoena, obtained by the Tampa Bay Times and previously unreported, could reflect a new level of federal inquiry into Gillum, the former mayor of Tallahassee who narrowly lost to Republican Ron DeSantis last year.

Throughout his campaign last year, Gillum insisted he was not a target of a sprawling FBI investigation of Tallahassee City Hall, which has taken at least three years and resulted in three arrests. Last year, he told the Tallahassee Democrat: “Twenty-plus subpoenas have been issued and not one of them has anything to do with me.”

But the recent one does. Previously, the investigation had centered on corruption inside Tallahassee government, including during Gillum’s time as mayor. The newer subpoena is more focused on Gillum’s 2018 campaign and people and organizations with clear ties to him, but with less obvious connections to Tallahassee City Hall.

Heh... Weeding out the bad actors one by one.

Nice guy - North Korea

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Another nation we need to bring in to the 21st century. From Radio Free Asia:

China Uncovers North Korean State-Sponsored Drug Ring After Arrests
Chinese authorities in early May made several arrests in connection with a North Korean drug smuggling ring in the Changbai Korean Autonomous county in Jilin province, just across the border from North Korea.

According to multiple sources, the Chinese government is paying special attention to this case because during police investigations, the ring was found to have connections with North Korean state security agents, adding a new wrinkle to recently tense relations between the two countries.

And a bit more - this is not a rogue cartel, this is state sponsored:

The source believes that the recent drug busts have uncovered the North Korean government’s recent involvement in drug manufacture and trafficking as a method of making foreign currency, which the country desperately needs as it transitions to a market economy while under sanctions put in place by the U.S. and the U.N.

“North Koreans smuggling large amounts of meth into China are not small-time private smugglers. They are part of a foreign-currency-generating organization that is protected by powerful North Korean authorities.”

“They tend to travel through cities on the North Korea-China border like Hyesan and Changbai, and they’ve been making lots of money bringing meth into China,” said the source.

More at the site - they have been doing this (drug smuggling) since the 1970's.

For once I agree with her - Cher

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From her Twitter feed (gotta love the ALL CAPS):

It was the part about demanding paper ballots that caught my eye. She might want to retract that as Democratic Voter fraud is a major problem and using paper ballots will go a long way to denying them that opportunity. Checking ID is needed too.

The Democrats? Voter Fraud? Say it isn't so (here, here, here, here, here and here for starters) They do not have ideas that We The People want so they have to resort to cheating.

From the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. Measles Outbreaks Hit Highest Level in More Than 25 Years
The number of measles cases in the U.S. this year has hit the highest level in more than 25 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday, warning that the virus may no longer be considered to have been eliminated in this country if the large outbreaks continue through the fall.

The CDC said 971 cases have been reported so far in 2019, including 91 cases in the past week and a half. The tally means in just five months the outbreaks have surpassed the previous high of 963 cases set 25 years ago, in 1994.

We had it licked and then stupid parents started believing the narrative and not vaccinating their children:

“The measles elimination goal, first announced in 1963 and accomplished in 2000, was a monumental task,” the CDC said. Before use of the vaccine became widespread, an estimated 3 to 4 million people got measles each year in the U.S., the agency said. Of them, 400 to 500 people died, and 48,000 were hospitalized.

Not vaccinating your kid is child abuse plain and simple.

The Mississippi River is the major conduit for shipping grain from the midwest to southern manufacturers and animal feed operations as well as the port of New Orleans. From Reuters:

Flood-swollen Mississippi River closed to shipping at St. Louis: U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard said it closed the Mississippi River near St. Louis to boat and barge traffic on Friday as excessive rains and heavy snow melt this spring swelled the major shipping waterway to near record levels.

And more rain is forecast:

Water levels are forecast to steadily recede over the next two weeks, but that outlook could change as more rain is expected across the Midwest next week. The NWS said its river level forecast considers current conditions and expected precipitation about 24 hours into the future.

About that global warming? Here are some headlines:

Cooler and overcast here.

From ship builder Huntington Ingalls Industries (I love their motto: Hard Stuff Done Right):

Video Release--Huntington Ingalls Industries’ First Cut of Steel Kicks Off Advance Construction For Columbia-Class Submarine Program
Huntington Ingalls Industries hosted a ceremonial first-cut-of-steel event today at its Newport News Shipbuilding division to mark the start of advance construction for the Columbia-class submarine program.

With the press of a button, a plasma-burning machine cut the first steel plate that will be used to build Columbia (SSBN 826), the lead ballistic missile submarine. As Newport News continues its digital transformation, the event also marked the first class of submarines that will be built using fully digital blueprints.

“Today is a historic day,” said Jason Ward, Newport News’ vice president for Columbia-class construction. “It has been a half century since Newport News Shipbuilding has constructed a ballistic submarine. Today, we celebrate the decade-plus effort spent working with Electric Boat on the design of this new class of submarine as we formally transition from design to material procurement and now to construction execution.”

Newport News is a major contractor and shipbuilding partner in the Columbia-class program and is performing advance construction activities under a contract the shipyard received from General Dynamics Electric Boat. The Columbia-class boats will replace the fleet of Ohio-class nuclear ballistic submarines. Newport News is starting its work three weeks ahead of schedule to support its advance construction efforts.

Good news. Our Military was neglected during the last couple of administrations - time to build back our strength.

It is not an opioid problem

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It is a general drug abuse/mental health problem and needs to be treated as such. From United Press International:

Opioid overdose victims die with other substances in their system
A large number of people who overdose from opioid use have other substances in their systems when they die, new findings show.

About 82 percent of deaths that involved opioids included other substances like cocaine, methamphetamine and other stimulants, according to findings published in the July issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

"As a provider, these findings indicate a pressing need to address and treat not just opioid use disorder, but other substances that patients are misusing," lead author Joshua Barocas, an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center and study lead author, said in a news release.

Synthetic opioids like Fentanyl are cheap and easy to make so they are the product of choice for the cartels. Heroin is expensive to grow and process so the move to the synthetics was a no-brainer. Another thing to do would be to police the border and build the wall - that is where 90% of the bad shit is coming from.

Great quote

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“So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot…”
— George Orwell

Well that lasted about two hours

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Was out running a few errands and got a call from contractor #2 - we are meeting on the island tomorrow afternoon for a bid. Doesn't make sense to drive to the farm today - I'll go there tomorrow afternoon.

Fixing some lunch and knock out a couple projects around the house.

Points North

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Heading up to the farm today - Bellingham first. Coffee before that.

I was wondering - Energy Drinks

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Could very well be bad for you - from The American Heart Association:

Energy drinks may increase risk of heart function abnormalities and blood pressure changes
Study Highlights:

    • Three to four hours after drinking 32 ounces of energy drinks, the heart’s electrical activity was abnormal compared to drinking a placebo drink.
    • Two different commercially available energy drinks produced the same results, suggesting that energy drinks as a class should be consumed with caution.

Drinking 32 ounces of an energy drink in a short timespan may increase blood pressure and the risk of electrical disturbances in the heart, which affect heart rhythm, according to a small study published in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

The study enrolled 34 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 40 years. Participants were randomly assigned to drink 32 ounces of one of two commercially available caffeinated energy drinks or a placebo drink on three separate days. The drinks were consumed within a 60-minute period but no faster than one 16-ounce bottle in 30 minutes.

Researchers measured the electrical activity of the volunteers’ hearts by electrocardiogram, which records the way a heart is beating. They also recorded participant’s blood pressure. All measurements were taken at the study’s start and every 30 minutes for 4 hours after drink consumption.

Very small sample size but the results were overwhelming:

In participants who consumed either type of energy drink, researchers found that the QT interval was 6 milliseconds or 7.7 milliseconds higher at 4 hours compared to placebo drinkers. The QT interval is a measurement of the time it takes ventricles in the heart (the lower chambers) to prepare to generate a beat again. If this time interval is either too short or too long, it can cause the heart to beat abnormally. The resulting arrhythmia can be life-threatening.

The results of the study confirm previous findings and suggest that the QT interval changes are generally sustained over the four-hour monitoring period rather than being a short-lasting effect after consuming 32-ounces of an energy drink.

Researchers also found a statistically significant 4 to 5 mm Hg increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in participants who consumed the energy drinks.

Everyone showed the QT change and it persisted for at least four hours. I tried Red Bull a couple of times when it first came out but I did not like the way I felt. Do not use them - a Latte in the morning works much better for me...

In three words? Higher Food Prices. From Michael Snyder writing at The Economic Collapse:

Crop Catastrophe In The Midwest – Latest USDA Crop Progress Report Indicates That A Nightmare Scenario Is Upon Us
The last 12 months have been the wettest in all of U.S. history, and this has created absolutely horrific conditions for U.S. farmers.  Thanks to endless rain and historic flooding that has stretched on for months, many farmers have not been able to plant crops at all, and a lot of the crops that have actually been planted are deeply struggling.  What this means is that U.S. agricultural production is going to be way, way down this year.  The numbers that I am about to share with you are deeply alarming, and they should serve as a wake up call for all of us.  The food that each one of us eats every day is produced by our farmers, and right now our farmers are truly facing a nightmare scenario.

You can view the latest USDA crop progress report right here.  According to that report, corn and soybean production is way behind expectations.

Last year, 78 percent of all corn acreage had been planted by now.  This year, that number is sitting at just 49 percent.

And the percentage of corn that has emerged from the ground is at a paltry 19 percent compared to 47 percent at this time last year.

We see similar numbers when we look at soybeans.

And it is not just crops in the USA:

Over in Asia, the biggest problem right now is African Swine Flu. Earlier today, I came across a CNBC article which stated that “up to 200 million Chinese pigs” may have already been lost to this nightmarish disease…

A trade fight with the U.S. isn’t the only war China is fighting. African swine flu has decimated the pig population in China and sent pork prices soaring. As many as up to 200 million Chinese pigs have reportedly been lost due to the disease.

Now, Wall Street analysts are scrambling to assess the fallout from the fast spreading illness and how to invest around it.

The entire U.S. pork industry does not even produce 200 million pigs in an entire year.

Despite the hyperbolic name of his blog, Dr. Snyder is not your typical TEOTWAWKI Survivalist - his writing is well thought out and based on concrete data, not hand waving and rhetoric.

Here is why - Iran

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If stuff like this is being published out in the open, imagine what is still being kept secret... From the London Daily Mail:

Iran is trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction according to German intelligence report
A German intelligence report says Iran is trying to expand its arsenal with weapons on mass destruction amid flaring tensions with the U.S.

The May 2019 report refers to the Islamic Republic as a 'risk country' that is 'making efforts to expand its conventional arsenal of weapons with weapons of mass destruction.'

The Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the equivalent of MI5, define these as atomic bombs, biological and chemical weapons.

Iran is a sponsor of terrorism around the world.

Draining the swamp - bit by bit

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is going on a diet - from Hot Air:

USDA Staffers Quit, Refuse To Relocate From The Washington Swamp
Two small agencies within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may be moving outside of Washington, D.C. and the federal employees involved are not happy about that. Both agencies are seeing an increase of resignations on a monthly basis.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced his intention to relocate the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) from the swamp to the heartland. Perdue said to think of it as moving the department’s scientists closer to its “customers”, the farmers. Perdue thinks the move will improve customer service and agency performance. The majority of staffers will be asked to relocate, but the actual location of the move has not yet been announced.

Heaven forbid the bureaucrats may actually have to mingle with us Normals. They might even have to grocery shop at WalMart or WinCo (shudder). There is a lot more at the site - the unions are getting involved and people are really pushing back. The article concludes with this bit of clear thinking:

However, consider that this is what happens in the private sector all the time. Companies have to consider costs and other practical considerations as they look at the bottom line. When relocation of offices are deemed necessary, or simply shifting employees around to offices where they will be better utilized, the employees have to make a very basic decision. Do they stay with the job they currently hold or do they move on to something else? Some people are open to change more than others. These upheavals never satisfy everyone. In the meanwhile, it sounds as though Secretary Perdue is attempting to make some common sense change to two governmental agencies and that’s probably a good thing. Shaking up the swamp and expanding out into the rest of the country, particularly into areas dependent on these agencies, sounds reasonable.

Absolutely - our Federal Government needs to be run like a business and We The People are the shareholders. We need accountability and be able to look at a bottom line.
Tip of the hat to Peter Grant for the link.

Technology - then and now

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An interesting historical look at Nautilus:

Most Tech Today Would be Frivolous to Ancient Scientists
Surrounded by advanced achievements in medicine, space exploration, and robotics, people can be forgiven for thinking our time boasts the best technology. So I was startled last year to hear Sarah Stroup, a professor of classics at the University of Washington, Seattle, give a speech called “Robots, Space Exploration, Death Rays, Brain Surgery, and Nanotechnology: STEMM in the Ancient World.” Stroup has created a college course integrating classics and science to show how 2,000 year-old Greek and Roman STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine) underlie and illuminate the sciences today.

Stroup starts with robotics. The Greeks made self-acting machinery such as an automaton theater, a first step toward building a real robot, and they imagined a mythological one. Talos, a bronze being made by the god Hephaestus (later the Roman Vulcan) patrolled the island of Crete and threw rocks at threatening ships, anticipating today’s development of intelligent battlefield weaponry that chooses its own targets. In the 4th century BCE, Aristotle foresaw other implications of intelligent machines when he wrote, “If every instrument could accomplish its own work… chief workmen would not want servants, nor masters slaves,” as is now happening when robots and artificial intelligence replace people.

The origins of the word "technology"

“Technology” comes from the Greek τέχνη, techne, which designates art, skill, or cunning. In Greek, it can be applied to sculpture, to metallurgy, to any craft or a method or set of rules for doing anything. The Latin translation of τέχνη would be ars, from which we get our word art. I find it amusing that moderns tend to imagine technology and art as opposites, when in fact the root words—techne and ars—mean exactly the same thing. In terms of τεχνολογία—technologia—it means specifically a systematic treatment of grammar. The modern sense of the word technology is not found in the ancient word. 

A fascinating read.

From Science Daily:

New compound which kills antibiotic-resistant superbugs discovered
A new compound which visualises and kills antibiotic resistant superbugs has been discovered by scientists at the University of Sheffield and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL).

The team, led by Professor Jim Thomas, from the University of Sheffield's Department of Chemistry, is testing new compounds developed by his PhD student Kirsty Smitten on antibiotic resistant gram-negative bacteria, including pathogenic E. coli.

A bit on why this is important:

Antimicrobial resistance is already responsible for 25,000 deaths in the EU each year, and unless this rapidly emerging threat is addressed, it's estimated by 2050 more than 10 million people could die every year due to antibiotic resistant infections.

Doctors have not had a new treatment for gram-negative bacteria in the last 50 years, and no potential drugs have entered clinical trials since 2010.

No more news - it will be interesting if it works in humans.

Weather woes

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Prayers going out to the Eastern US - serious tornado warnings for tonight. Huge flooding in the Central US.

Out for the usual

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Much cooler today - heading out for coffee, post office, library and then back home to finish yardwork, do some paperwork and editing the photos from the studio tour.

Farm tomorrow.

Had a largish lunch so heading out for just a burrito and two pints of beer.

Back later...

I do not mind paying for this - I had written about it last April 9th and they are now out with version 2.02

Looks really good - I am putting together a website for the blacksmithing business here. Since I am no longer in the shadow of Black Mountain, I am dropping the Black Mountain Forge name and will now be doing business as Crow Island Forge. Camano Island used to be called Crow Island in the 1900's when it was being heavily logged and I do love corvids so the name is a natural.

Looking forward to taking this software out for a test drive... I'll post a link when I have something up.

p.s. - blackmountainforge.com is available for sale or trade. Looking for a large motorized (3 to 5HP) hydraulic press

Two excellent lists of Music and Media software with emphasis on open source and Linux. Jack is the best package for doing audio under Linux and many people have written enhancements to it or written applications for other things (video, etc...) that 'talk' to it.

Here is Jack Audio Connection Kit - Applications

And here is a general collection (8,000+) of music and media software applications: Software Music Machine Archive

These are taken with a grain of salt as some of them are no longer in production, they sometimes list older versions, and a good share of 404's. Still, a great jumping-off point.

Talk about a CLM

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CLM? From Acronym Finder: Career Limiting Move
From the Air Force Times:

FE Warren nuke maintainers caught drinking alcohol at missile alert facility
Two maintainers from the 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming were found to have consumed alcohol at a missile alert facility earlier this month, the base confirmed Friday.

Security forces at the facility on May 14 found alcoholic beverages belonging to the nuclear missile maintainers, a staff sergeant and a senior airmen, said Joseph Coslett, spokesman for the 90th Missile Wing, in an email. An investigation, which included an admission by the airmen, was conducted, and found the airmen had consumed the alcohol while off-duty, Coslett said.

Whoops - they were not on duty but they were on base and the regulations are pretty specific:

However, Coslett said, Air Force Global Strike Command regulations prohibit “processing or consuming alcoholic beverages … within the confines of any missile alert facility … while en route to or from duty in the missile complex.”

Kiss that career path goodbye...

Dinner guests

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Been refilling the hummingbird feeders - running out of sugar. Time for another 25 pound bag from Costco. The lil' buggers are eating me out of house and home.

Been noticing a lot of honeybees around the feeders too - figured I would get two of these guys from Amazon and see if there is any interest:

20190527-bees.JPG

It is still a little bit early for blooming so I am betting they are fairly hungry. Long cold spring. Another Dalton Minimum?

A chilling graph from farmer Nelson Reus:

Here is the graph cropped and rotated:

20190527-reus.jpg

As a reminder - from Infogalactic:

Dalton Minimum
The Dalton Minimum was a period of low sunspot count, representing low solar activity, named after the English meteorologist John Dalton, lasting from about 1790 to 1830 or 1796 to 1820, corresponding to the period solar cycle 4 to solar cycle 7.

Like the Maunder Minimum and Spörer Minimum, the Dalton Minimum coincided with a period of lower-than-average global temperatures.

To re-cap, a period of about 30 to 40 years of significantly coler weather caused by low solar output. Our sun is a naturally variable star. It is the primary driver of our climate - not fossil fuel use.

Ebola in the news

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A collection of links from MetaFilter:

"Violent attacks are winning, and infections are unchecked."
Ebola is out of control in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the second-worst outbreak in history. The WHO says the national and regional risk levels are very high, and with the number of new cases increasing in recent weeks, the UN is strengthening its response. Neighbouring countries are considering using an experimental vaccine which has shown impressive results in the DRC itself, but the challenge there is dispensing it: health workers are met with mistrust, and work in constant fear of armed attack, with some having to lie about being doctors in order to treat people.

This really worries me - again, very glad to not be living in a city. You can be highly contagious for weeks before showing symptoms. All it takes is one traveler on a crowded airplane.

Memorial Day

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Something to consider:

20190527-soldier.jpg

To the moon

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Great video mashup - Stanley Kubrick and the moon program:

There is a wonderful movie from that period called The Dish - well worth checking out.

15 News stories

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Don Surber lists 15 News Stories that caught his eye - here is just one of them:

ITEM 2:
NBC News reported, "Sanders: Trump and Kim Jong Un agree on assessment of Biden."

ABC News reported, "Donald Trump defends dictator Kim Jong Un, bashes Joe Biden from Japan."

The Los Angeles Times reported, "Trump, in Japan, sides with Kim Jong Un in war of insults with Joe Biden."

Axios reported, "Sarah Sanders defends Trump siding with Kim Jong-un on Joe Biden."

This is a reminder that the media is run by crazy people who believe they have the power to bring President Donald John Trump down with lies.

Look for North Korean collusion to replace Russian collusion with the women peeing in the bed Chairman Xi slept in.

Much more at the site - the media are not doing their jobs.

Intel's milkshake is being drunk by all of the other major chip makers. Intel is having major problems making 10 micron CPUs (here, here and here for starters) while other companies are shipping 7 micron right now. From Tech Crunch:

AMD unveils the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X, at half the price of Intel’s competing Core i9 9920X chipset
AMD CEO Lisa Su gave the Computex keynote in Taipei today, the first time the company has been invited to do so (the event officially starts tomorrow). During the presentation, AMD unveiled news about its chips and graphics processors that will increase pressure on competitors Intel and Nvidia, both in terms of pricing and performance.

Chips
All new third-generation Ryzen CPUs, the first with 7-nanometer desktop chips, will go on sale on July 7. The showstopper of Su’s keynote was the announcement of AMD’s 12-core, 24-thread Ryzen 9 3900x chip, the flagship of its third-generation Ryzen family. It will retail starting at $499, half the price of Intel’s competing Core i9 9920X chipset, which is priced at $1,189 and up.

The 3900x has 4.6 Ghz boost speed and 70 MB of total cache and uses 105 watts of thermal design power (versus the i9 9920x’s 165 watts), making it more efficient. AMD says that in a Blender demo against Intel i9-9920x, the 3900x finished about 18 percent more quickly.

If I were an Intel stockholder, I would be asking all sorts of questions. They tried to improve their bottom line by importing all kinds of cheap engineering labor through the H1-B visa program and they are now paying the price.

Out the door

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Gorgeous day - heading out for coffee &c and then back to work on the yard.

Breaking for a late lunch

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Weather turned out nice today - rained this morning but has dried up and gotten a lot warmer.

Working outside this afternoon.

Supposed to be nice and sunny tomorrow so staying on the island one more day. Got some business stuff to do in Bellingham and the offices will be closed tomorrow so doesn't make sense to do the drive. Got enough stuff happening down here.

Two days ago, SpaceX recently launched 60 small satellites - these are the first of a series of 12,000 birds which will provide global communications and internet.

Some people at the SatTrackCam Leiden station in Leiden, Netherlands managed to predict the orbit and had a camera ready and waiting:

WOWOWOW!!!! A SPECTACULAR view of the SpaceX Starlink satellite train!

20190526-satellite.jpg

On 24 May 2019 at 2:30 UT, SpaceX launched STARLINK, a series of 60 satellites that is the first launch of many that will create a large constellation of satellites meant to provide global internet access.

Just short of a day after the launch, near 22:55 UT on May 24, this resulted in a spectacular view over NW Europe, when a "train" of bright satellites, all moving close together in a line, moved across the sky. It rained UFO reports as a result, and the press picked it up as well.

There were no orbital elements for the objects available yet on Space-Track, but based on the orbital information (53 degree inclination, initially 440 km orbital altitude) I had calculated a search orbit and stood ready with my camera.

My search orbit turned out to be not too bad: very close in sky track, and with the objects passing some 3 minutes early on the predictions. And what a SPECTACULAR view it was!

It started with two faint, flashing objects moving into the field of view. Then, a few tens of seconds later, my jaw dropped as the "train" entered the field of view. I could not help shouting "OAAAAAH!!!!" (followed by a few expletives...).

There is a video at the site that is downright amazing - beautiful!

Downright cold

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Going to start a fire - in the high 40's. Brrrr - cold and wet. Turned the electric blanket back on for tonight.

Fixing some tacos for dinner - the brisket smells wonderful.

SystemD in the news

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And not in a good way. It is essentially the traffic cop that starts up and shuts down various Linux and Unix applications. Unfortunately, it is huge, bloated, and buggy. The original solution was a daemon called init (daemon?) that was the first process to start in the boot cycle and it kept running until you shut the system down. You needed to know what the fsck you were doing but it was very light and nimble and it worked (works) well. It is small enough and has been around for long enough that everyone is familiar with it.

Saw this today on Slashdot:

Systemd Now Has More Than 1.2 Million Lines of Code
This week Phoronix marked a very special anniversary:

Five years ago today was the story on Phoronix how the systemd source tree was approaching 550k lines so curiosity got the best of me to see how large is the systemd Git repository today. Well, now it's over 1.2 million lines.

After surpassing one million lines in 2017, when running GitStats on the systemd Git repository today it's coming in at 1,207,302 lines. Those 1.2 million lines are spread across 3,260 files and made over 40,057 commits from nearly 1,400 different authors... So far this year there have been 2,145 commits while last year saw 6,245 commits while 2016 and 2017 each saw less than four thousand commits total. Lennart Poettering continues being the most prolific contributor to systemd with more than 32% of the commits so far this year.

SystemD is reviled enough that there is a website about it: Take a stand against systemd! listing all of the distributions that do not use SystemD. E.M. Smith had a nice post from last October:

More SystemD Follies
Here’s an interesting article by an experienced Systems Admin saying he is done with SystemD. I find the “honesty” in it refreshing ;-)

http://www.cathalferris.com/archives/1154

Systemd stupidity – or why Poettering is an idiot

Yes I work as a Unix admin, and I’m getting so sick of “systemd”, that complete ball of crap that Poettering has foisted upon the Linux community. His poor quality of work has singlehandedly caused the most problems I’ve had to face in my day-to-day work in the past year, through his shoddy code, his abysmal system design and his complete lack of knowledge on how to do things the Linux way.

Things that systemd breaks, in no particular order, and I’ll update this as I see them:

Much much more at the site. Anything with 1,400 individual authors and more than a million lines of code is going to be buggy as shit. I use Debian and Puppy.

Devotion and Duty

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Amazing set of tweets from our Department of Defense:

An interesting look at the people President Obama selected to be his advisers - from American Thinker:

Obama Appointees in the Communist Orbit
This week Rush Limbaugh repeated a quote from James Comey in a New York Magazine interview:

“I’d moved from Communist to whatever I am now. I’m not even sure how to characterize myself politically. Maybe at some point, I’ll have to figure it out.”

It’s hard to pin too much on that quote. Perhaps Comey was joking by calling his vote for Jimmy Carter a vote for a Communist, in mockery of his supposedly fellow Republicans.

Joking about support for Communism is not all that funny in the Obama administration. Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan actually did vote for a Communist presidential candidate. Brennan and Comey are two of the central players in the Russia Collusion Hoax.

Obama choose Communists and Marxists for the highest, most powerful positions in our land, including his closest political advisors, and his head of the CIA. These facts are not in dispute. Most are openly admitted by the people in question, as necessary damage control. Our press chooses not to report them.

Much more at the site - well documented with links to corroborating sites. We need to remember this and see that this never happens again.

Modern urban design

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A sobering look at a new need for design - from Failed Architecture:

Making Anti-Terror Infrastructure Pretty: The Most Depressing New Urban Design Challenge
Urban designers are increasingly being tasked with an emergent ‘design challenge’ for public spaces: how best to deliver anti-terror infrastructure while generating a pleasant urban environment. By allowing themselves to be drawn into this challenge, and by dutifully working to respond with creative and constructive solutions, they are inadvertently helping to normalize a creeping ‘fortification’ of our cities that in turn contributes to a wider process of ‘bordering’ across the world.

The trend comes in the wake of a succession of fatal and horrific vehicle-based terror attacks over the past few years in several cities across the Global North, most notably London, Nice, Strasbourg, and New York. Following such attacks, knee-jerk urban design interventions have often involved the haphazard insertion of protective infrastructure into public spaces in the form of reinforced steel fences, cement blockades, and guarded entryways to pedestrian walkways and bike lanes. For example, following the vehicle attack that killed eight people in lower Manhattan on Halloween of 2017, New York’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio, reserved $103 million in the infrastructure budget “to install permanent barriers, bollards, granite blocks, [and] concrete blocks at well-trafficked central areas.”

Of course, this is nothing new for Israel - even their children's playgrounds have bomb shelters.

Speaker of the (Mad) House

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The real story and timeline behind the Trump / Pelosi / Schumer tantrum a few days ago. From Stilton Jarlsberg:

20190525-pelosi.jpgStilton's comments are 110% spot on:

Despite competition from young Democrat upstarts in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi has forcefully and successfully reclaimed the title of "Most Vile Woman in Washington."

We say this based on the little dog-and-pony show she staged with Chuck "Does Scowling Make Me Look Smart?" Schumer rather than getting the nation's business done. They were supposed to take a meeting with President Trump to discuss a spending plan to rebuild our nation's crumbling infrastructure (an idea with broad bipartisan support), but immediately beforehand, Nancy attended a well-publicized meeting with other foaming-at-the-mouth Democrats to discuss impeaching the President.

After which she paused on her way to the White House to tell reporters that Trump was engaged in a cover-up because his staff is no longer responding to the unending subpoenas from Jerry "Look, I Can Bite My Belt Buckle" Nadler for private documents, financial information, and testimony related to, well, nothing.

Understandably, once the meeting commenced it only took Trump three minutes to show Nancy and Chuck the door, after which he told the press that the Democrats can investigate him or work with him, but not both at the same time. Which sounds reasonable to us.

Speaking truth to power...

Rainy day

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Ran a couple of errands and working indoors - some filing, laundry and still prepping for the dump run.

Picked up some smoked beef brisket and some corn tortillas and thawing out some guacamole for dinner tonight. A local farmstand now has lettuce and such ready for sale. Mine is not ready yet (too late with the hoop house).

Surf for a bit and then start the paperwork...

Global warming at its finest

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From Los Angeles station KTLA:

Mammoth Mountain to Stay Open Into August After Recording Its Snowiest May Ever
After receiving a record amount of snow for May, Mammoth Mountain on Friday announced it would be extending its ski and snowboard season into August.

Only two previous seasons have lasted into August – in 2017 and 1995 – according to Mammoth Snowman, a site that tracks resort news.

With one week left in the month, Mammoth has already received 29 inches of snow, the most ever recorded in the month of May. The total beats the previous record of 28 inches, set in May 2015.

Tell me again how we are causing the Earth to warm up?

This is getting repetitious

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Third time in only three days that an Obama-appointed Judge is legislating from the bench. From Breitbart:

Judge Blocks Trump from Building Sections of Border Wall
A federal judge blocked on Friday President Donald Trump from building sections of his long-sought border wall with money secured under his declaration of a national emergency.

U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam, Jr., on Friday immediately halted the administration’s efforts to redirect military-designated funds for wall construction. His order applies to two high-priority projects to replace 51 miles (82 kilometers) of fence in two areas on the Mexican border.

Gilliam issued the ruling after hearing arguments last week in two cases. California and 19 other states brought one lawsuit; the Sierra Club and a coalition of communities along the border brought the other. His ruling was the first of several lawsuits against Trump’s controversial decision to bypass the normal appropriations process to pay for his long-sought wall.

And from Infogalactic:

Haywood Stirling Gilliam, Jr.
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Assumed office - December 19, 2014
Appointed by Barack Obama

Yet another Obama appointee practicing Judicial Activism and legislating from the bench instead of doing their fscking job... Illegal, outside the scope of their powers and unconstitutional as hell.

Happy towel day

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In honor of towel day, the Beeb has 25 Douglas Adams quotes - here are three:

    • We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.
    • A learning experience is one of those things that say, “You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.”
    • Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

Wise words...

The Mississippi abortion law

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The one that band late-term abortion - if the fetus has a pulse, no abortion. A Judge made a ruling and is, again, legislating from the bench. From the Mississippi Clarion Ledger:

'Here we go again.' Federal judge blocks Mississippi's 'heartbeat' abortion law
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves on Friday issued a strongly worded preliminary injunction blocking Mississippi's "heartbeat" abortion law, that would have banned abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, when a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Reeves' order will combine the lawsuit against Mississippi's fetal heartbeat ban with an ongoing one against the state's previous 15-week abortion ban.

"Here we go again," Reeves wrote. "Mississippi has passed another law banning abortions prior to viability. The latest interpretation (Mississippi's new law) bans abortions in Mississippi after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is as early as 6 weeks."

That was a State law - the Federal Justice has very limited power over State laws. And, taking a quick look, we see at Infogalactic:

Carlton Wayne Reeves
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
Assumed office - December 20, 2010
Appointed by Barack Obama

The Obama presidency has left us with legal landmines like this - Judges who prefer to practice Judicial Activism rather than read the law (and our Constitution) as it is written. Not exactly a stellar legacy.

Long day on the road

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Had to drive down to Lynwood - stopped at a couple of places on the way back but it was over 100 miles of driving and traffic was slow coming back.

Heading out for some pasta for dinner.

Good news - welfare reform

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President Trump is enforcing a law that is alreay on the books - from The Daily Caller:

TRUMP TO SIGN MEMO TO CURB WELFARE USE BY NON-CITIZENS
President Donald Trump is expected to sign a memorandum Thursday enforcing restrictions on welfare benefits for non-citizens, The Daily Caller has learned.

The memo directs government agencies to enforce legislation signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 that requires sponsors of immigrants to the U.S. to reimburse the government for any welfare benefits received by the person they are sponsoring.

Immigrant sponsors will be informed by agencies that they are required to pay back the money, and that they will be sent to collections if they fail to do so. Agencies will have 90 days to update their guidance and will report back to the president on their progress in 180 days.

Sponsor repayment of welfare benefits was enacted under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, but has remained largely unenforced. The bill was sponsored by Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy and Patty Murray.

Good - zero problem with people immigrating but it has to be done legally and our new citizens have to assimilate into the American Culture and be productive.

Morning meeting was uneventful

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First contractor to come out for a price quote. Going to get two more.

Finishing off editing the photographs from the studio tour - drop them off tomorrow.

Heading out for a burrito and a couple pints. Turned into a nice warm day but clouds and rain forecast for tomorrow.

Jussie Smollett was in the news for concocting a fake hate crime against his person. He was friends with the machine and the case was dropped. Now this from the Chicago Tribune:

Judge orders sealed court records in aborted Jussie Smollett prosecution to be made public
A Cook County judge Thursday ordered the case file in the aborted prosecution of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett unsealed, marking a victory for the Chicago Tribune and other news organizations and adding another twist to a case with seemingly no end to controversy.

Smollett’s attorney had succeeded in sealing the court records at the same unannounced hearing in March at which State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office abruptly dropped all charges that the actor had staged a hate crime attack on himself.

After news organizations sought to unseal the records, Smollett’s legal team opposed the request, citing the actor’s privacy rights.

But Circuit Judge Steven Watkins held that those privacy rights had been trumped by Smollett and his attorneys going before the cameras to declare his innocence.

Let the sun shine in - there needs to be equal justice for all.

Heh - old school synthesizer

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There are two schools of analog music synthesis - West Coast and East Coast. I am firmly in the East Coast camp and have a largish system based on Bob Moog's designs. The two primary designers for the West Coast machines are Don Buchla and Serge Tcherepnin. All three companies are still manufacturing synthesizers.

I ran into this story about someone working on an old Buchla 100 - from the San Francisco CBS affiliate:

Repair Of Iconic ’60s Era Synthesizer Turns Into Long, Strange Trip For Engineer
For years, an urban legend circulated online and in documentaries purporting how part of a groundbreaking musical instrument — versions which are stored at a Bay Area university and other institutions — was dipped in LSD.

Online chatter detailed how musicians who used the instrument would wet their finger, touch the device, and then lick their finger to get a little bit of mind-expanding inspiration.

Now this supposed myth may turn out to be a reality.

And the trip?

During his repair work, Curtis opened the module and saw something stuck under a knob.

“There was like a residue … a crust or a crystalline residue on it,” said Curtis.

He sprayed a cleaning solvent on it and started to push the dissolving crystal with his finger as he attempted to dislodge the residue and clean the area.

About 45 minutes later, Curtis began to feel a little strange. He described it as a weird, tingling sensation. He discovered this was the feeling of the beginnings of an LSD experience or trip.

The sensation lasted roughly nine hours.

And a little bit about the machine:

It turns out this machine has deep roots to the west coast counterculture. It’s called a Buchla Model 100, and it was created by the late Don Buchla of Berkeley.

“I call him the Leonardo Da Vinci of electronic music design.” remarked Suzanne Ciani, known as the “Diva of the Diode” and an acknowledged pioneer in electronic music. Ciani worked with Buchla in the late ’60s and ’70s when she was a grad student at University of California, Berkeley.

I have played Buchla synths (and Serge) and they are a lot of fun but my brain is more wired to the Mood design - it's how I think...

Out for the usual morning routine

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Heading out a bit earlier as I am meeting a contractor here at 10:00AM

From Eastern Washington - the Wenatchee World:

Trouble snowballs for man who shot himself
A convicted felon accidentally shot himself in the genitals last month at an apartment in Cashmere. His problems didn’t stop there.

Cameron Jeffrey Wilson, 27, had a pistol tucked into his front pocket April 5 when the gun discharged, sending a bullet through his testicles and into his thigh, according to a probable cause affidavit filed April 16 in Chelan County Superior Court.

Instead of heading directly to a hospital, Wilson instructed his girlfriend to first drive to Lincoln Park in Wenatchee, where he gave the pistol to a friend, the affidavit said. A 13-time convicted felon, it is illegal for Wilson to possess a firearm.

As doctors and nurses performed surgery at Central Washington Hospital, a balloon containing marijuana slipped out of his anus, the affidavit said.

Chelan County sheriff’s detectives were notified that Wilson had suffered a gunshot wound and then responded to the hospital. They searched the car and found a bag of methamphetamine inside a pair of blood-stained jeans he’d taken off before entering the hospital.

More at the site - shades of yesterday's lament: The Stupid! It Burns!

Very happy with GNU Cash - a two-fer from TechDirt (here and here)

Getting Worse Part 1: Intuit Routinely Lies To Customers To Avoid Paying Refunds For Tax Prep Work
It appears Intuit has decided to make things worse rather than better. Just after tax season, we discussed ProPublica's excellent research article on the extreme lengths Intuit had gone to keep its Free File service an unknown to the public. This service is the result of an agreement the top tax prep companies out there reached with the IRS. Essentially, by promising to allow members of the public that earn under a certain amount of money to use their services to file their taxes for free, the IRS in turn has agreed not to pursue its own free to file service. It's an extremely dumb deal for any number of reasons, one of which being how much more efficient it would be for the IRS to carry the weight here, given that it already has all the information most taxpayers need to file.

The other reason, as it turns out, is because Intuit has decided to behave pretty much as cynically as it possibly can. As we detailed in our previous post, the company engaged in a strategy coupling the buying of ads for Google searches and hiding the free to file via the robot.txt file. As a result, something like 3% of eligible taxpayers file for free using the system, while Intuit set up a layer of websites and landing pages all designed to direct the public to paid services, without ever telling them they qualified for free to file tax prep.

And part two:

Getting Worse Part 2: Intuit's CEO Informs Employees That Free To File Was Hidden For The Public's Own Good
Like we said, Intuit apparently wants to keep digging this hole for itself. After our initial coverage of ProPublica's excellent posts on how Intuit was going to crazy lengths to keep anyone from finding its free to file tax prep site, we followed up with reports of how many Intuit reps were lying to keep from giving people refunds. Those lies included claims that Intuit and TurboTax don't even run the free to file program and that it was instead operated by the IRS itself with TurboTax branding. Another lie was that ProPublica's reporting was all wrong and that the news organization was about to run a retraction. Spoiler alert: no they are not.

But it seems that the Intuit brass aren't content only to lie to the public. Intuit's CEO managed to cobble together an internal video -- which of course leaked -- so that he could lie to his own staff as well.

Much more at the site.

They are getting even stupider - from the Sacramento, CA CBS affiliate:

Anti-Vax Movement Spreads To Pet Population
The growing anti-vax movement has spread to the pet population. Fewer dog and cat owners are opting to get their furry friends vaccinated.

The stupid! It burns!

20190522-stupid.jpg

Big surprise - a Judge's decision

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From CNBC:

Judge says Deutsche Bank, Capital One can give Trump financial records to House Democrats
A federal judge in New York City on Wednesday said Deutsche Bank and Capitol One can turn over financial documents related to President Donald Trump and his businesses in response to subpoenas from House Democrats.

Judge Edgardo Ramos’s ruling came after a hearing at which lawyers for Trump, his three older children, and the Trump Organization argued that the subpoenas to the two banks should be quashed.

And of course - from Infogalactic:

Edgardo Ramos
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Assumed office - December 6, 2011
Appointed by Barack Obama

A perfect example of legislating from the bench which is illegal. Judge Ramos is trying to change the laws regarding banking privacy. Typical progressive Judicial activism

Aaaand still on the island

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Didn't get to the dump run yesterday so doing that this afternoon as well as mowing the lawn and doing some gardening work. Meeting tomorrow morning - will head to the farm this weekend for a couple of days. Breaking for lunch.

Just recieved my copy of Mark Levin's new book: Unfreedom of the Press Released today and already #2 at Amazon

Of course, I had to look at the New York Times list and of the top 15 books, Michelle Obama's ghost-written memoir was at #2 and there were three seperate books dealing with the Meuller Report. I guess that a book on fake news does not fit with their narrative. Amazon is tracking the actual number of books being sold, the NY Times tracks the progressive wish list.

Antifa - the brownshirts of the New National Socialist Party - from PJ Media come the results of an interesting study:

Report Shows Online Ties Linking HuffPost, the Guardian, and SPLC to Antifa
Violent protesters identifying as anti-fascist or "Antifa" have harassed various people across the country, demonizing conservatives and particularly those who support President Donald Trump. Activists have bashed people in the head with bike locks, hit their own political allies in the back of the head during protests, and even launched a plot to buy guns from a Mexican cartel to "stage an armed rebellion" at the border, according to an FBI investigation. Despite these attacks and more, journalists with HuffPost, The Guardian, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) have maintained connections with Antifa activists, a new report revealed.

The SPLC, which makes its mark by following organizations it accuses of being "hate groups," has taken some flak for refusing to brand Antifa a "hate group." Perhaps this report explains why.

Eoin Lenihan, a former teacher and current analyst focused on online extremism, announced that his team had "mapped the social interactions of 58,254 Antifa affiliated accounts on Twitter based on an initial seed of 16 self-identifying and verifiable Antifa accounts (and Mark Bray who chose not to confirm if he is a member of Antifa but whose book makes a solid case for inclusion)."

They need to be called out for who they are - promoters of racism and hate. Nothing less.

Been reading some historical fiction set in post WWII Germany - the Nuremberg Trials were to show the world that the convicted were brutal thugs and not martyrs to "the cause". We need to deliver swift justice to this current crop of useful idiots and their fellow travelers in the media and popular culture.

Been looking at getting a boat at some point in the future but just want to mess around on the water - not looking for long cruises or bleeding edge performance. Someone turned me on to this design: Puddle Duck Racer

Free plans to build, takes a couple sheets of plywood and can be knocked together in a week or so. Very safe (optional floation compartments) and pretty good performance for either sail or oars. I love to row and sail so this would be a great combination.

Open design but people have adapted camping tents and there is ample room to stretch out so multi-day cruises are not out of the question.

Something to look at seriously for a fall/winter project.

Our betters

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The New York Times actually uncovers something significant:

Why High-Class People Get Away With Incompetence
In season four of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” Paul Rudd plays a wealthy businessman named Bobby Newport who runs for city council because he’s looking for something “easy” to do. He is asked during a debate how he’d fix the town. His answer: “I have no idea.” Still, the audience goes wild, much to the frustration of his rival, Leslie Knope.

It’s funny because it’s relatable. Sooner or later, we all may encounter a Bobby Newport. What is it about an elite upbringing that seems to make people feel qualified for tasks where they have little experience? This is one of the questions that inspired a study published Monday in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

A bit more:

The researchers suggest that part of the answer involves what they call “overconfidence.” In several experiments, they found that people who came from a higher social class were more likely to have an inflated sense of their skills — even when tests proved that they were average. This unmerited overconfidence, they found, was interpreted by strangers as competence.

This goes a long long way to explain the Obama presidency. Hillary's email server, Operation Fast and Furious, John Kerry's Iran deal, FISA abuse, Clinton's Benghazi, the economy (shovel ready jobs, etc...). Classic Dunning–Kruger effect.

Gun control - a perfect example

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An example of the stupidity of any gun control laws:

20190521-gun.jpg

From Sal the Agorist

A nice win in Australia

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Great analysis by Claire Lehmann writing at Quillette. Note that Australia is "down under" - there, the liberal party are the conservatives and the labour party are the liberals.

At Australian Ballot Boxes, the Left’s Empathy Deficit Came Home to Roost
The result of Saturday’s federal election in Australia is being treated as the most staggering political shocker in my country since World War II. Scott Morrison, leading the Liberal Party, looks to have won a majority government—a result that defies three years of opinion pollingbookie’s odds and media commentary.

In the aftermath, analysts on both sides are trying to explain what went wrong for the centre-left Australian Labor Party, and what went right for the centre-right Liberals. Some attribute the result to Morrison’s personal likeability, and his successful targeting of the “quiet Australian” demographic—the silent majority whose members feel they rarely have a voice, except at the ballot box. Others cast the result as Australia’s Hilary-Clinton moment: Bill Shorten, who resigned following Saturday’s loss, was, like Clinton, an unpopular political insider who generated little enthusiasm among his party’s traditional constituencies. In 2010 and again in 2013, he roiled the Labor Party by supporting two separate internal coups, machinations that cast him as a self-promoter instead of a team player.

The swing against Labor was particularly pronounced in the northeastern state of Queensland—which is more rural and socially conservative than the rest of Australia. Many of Queensland’s working-class voters opposed Labor’s greener-than-thou climate-change policies, not a surprise given that the state generates half of all the metallurgical coal burned in the world’s blast furnaces. Queensland’s rejection of Labor carried a particularly painful symbolic sting for Shorten, given that this is the part of Australia where his party was founded by 19th century sheep shearers meeting under a ghost gum tree. In 1899, the world’s first Labor government was sworn into the Queensland parliament. Shorten’s “wipe-out” in Queensland demonstrates what has become of the party’s brand among working-class people 120 years later.

Heh - one thing about cycles. They swing one way and then they always swing back. We are now at the Dependence and Bondage stage of the Tytler Cycle. A good explanation of the Tytler Cycle can be found here.

Just wonderful - Russia

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Interesting bit of news from NORAD:

NORAD intercepts Russian bombers and fighters entering Air Defense Identification Zone
Two pairs of F-22s and an E-3 Airborne Early Warning and Control System from North American Aerospace Defense Command positively identified and intercepted a total of four Tupolev Tu-95 bombers and two Su-35 fighters entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on May 20.

Specifically, two of the Russian bombers were intercepted by two F-22s, and a second group of bombers with Su-35 fighters was intercepted later by two additional F-22s, while the E-3 provided overall surveillance. The Russian bombers and fighters remained in international airspace and at no time did the aircraft enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace.

“NORAD’s top priority is defending Canada and the United States. Our ability to deter and defeat threats to our citizens, vital infrastructure, and national institutions starts with successfully detecting, tracking, and positively identifying aircraft of interest approaching U.S. and Canadian airspace,” said General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, the NORAD Commander. “NORAD is on alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

Unusual behaviour - why were they probing?

Sneaking one past us normals

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This is going to tie things up in knots if it gets put into law. From the Washington Times:

A misnamed legal jackhammer strikes
Democrats in the House are celebrating Friday’s passage of the Equality Act, a misnamed legal jackhammer that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to federal civil rights law.

It goes far beyond allowing men into women’s sports and locker rooms, as bad as that is. It provides the state with the power to persecute anyone who won’t celebrate any aspect of the LGBTQ agenda.

Far from merely expanding civil rights categories, it turns any recognition of the differences between the sexes or any preference for traditional sexual morality into actionable “hate,” creating fertile grounds for lawsuits.

“It is the most dangerous bill to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion that has ever been proposed on a national level,” says Houston Baptist University Prof. Robert Gagnon, an expert in biblical sexual morality. “It will codify into law that you are a bigot, the moral equivalent of a racist, tantamount to being a member of the Klu Klux Klan, who must be shut out of society and, wherever possible, harassed and persecuted for your beliefs.”

The Heritage Foundation has a good analysis. They outline who will be harmed by this egregious bit of legislation.

Break for lunch

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Dump and recycling run this afternoon. Surf and have a bite to eat.

ESPN in the news

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Get woke, go broke - proven true yet again. From John Nolte writing at Breitbart:

Nolte: ESPN President Takes a Knee — ‘Fans Do Not Want Us to Cover Politics’
ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro conceded defeat Monday by finally admitting, “Without question our data tells us our fans do not want us to cover politics.”

Well, no shit.

You needed your data to tell you that, Jimmy?

You needed to convene something to do a tabulation that deliver some data, Jimmy?

Was it the 15 million lost subscribers? Was that the “data?”

How about the endless complaints across social media, the editorials…?

Maybe the layoffs? Those massive layoffs — were the layoffs the data, Jimmy?

Perhaps it was the ratings crash?

Consumer sentiment?

Seriously, Jimmy, please do share with us this data of which you speak.

Get woke, go broke - this happens every time some corporation gets coerced by the Social Justice Warriors to do something stupid. The SJWs are a fraction of the population. I would be seriously surprised if they comprised more than five percent of the total population of the USA. Why are they getting so much air-time and publicity?

Their fifteen minutes are well over - time for them to dry up and blow away.

Iran in the news

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Wonderful little 9th century theocratic tyranny they have there. From Yahoo/Bloomberg:

Iran Accelerates Production of Enriched Uranium as Tensions Rise
Iran has accelerated the rate at which it’s enriching low-grade uranium four-fold, weeks after threatening to gradually scale back its commitments under a 2015 deal meant to prevent it from developing a nuclear bomb.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Behrouz Kamalvandi, an official at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, as saying that Iran had increased its output of 3.67% enriched uranium as of Monday, and that the United Nations nuclear watchdog had been informed. The number of active centrifuges has not been raised, it added. Crucially, Iran hasn’t increased the level to which it is enriching beyond the agreed limit.

If this is what they are publically admitting to, the real news has to be a lot worse. Why do they need nuclear? They are the primary sponsor of terrorism in the world. Time to join the 21st century.

From the Los Angeles NBC affiliate:

Rotting Trash Piles Sky-High in LA, Attracting Rats and Raising Concerns of a New Epidemic
Rat-infested piles of rotting garbage left uncollected by the city of Los Angeles, even after promises to clean it up, are fueling concerns about a new epidemic after last year's record number of flea-borne typhus cases.

Even the city's most notorious trash pile, located between downtown LA's busy Fashion and Produce districts, continues to be a magnet for rats after it was cleaned up months ago. The rodents can carry typhus-infected fleas, which can spread the disease to humans through bacteria rubbed into the eyes or cuts and scrapes on the skin, resulting in severe flu-like symptoms.

The NBC4 I-Team first told Mayor Eric Garcetti's office about the piles of filth in the 700 block of Ceres Avenue in October. At the time, he promised to make sure trash doesn't pile up like that.

The garbage was cleaned after the interview, but conditions have worsened over the next seven months.

Much more at the site - the city is doing nothing to control the rat population. Lots of new cases of flea-borne typhus. This is what happens when you promote social programs over basic infrastructure.

SIGGRAPH 2019

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Special Interest Group - Graphics - the 2019 conference is being held in Los Angeles July 28 to August 1st.
Here is the brag reel:

Lots of new technologies happening. Fun time to be alive.

So true. If a Republican had been featured in this picture, there would be an uproar from the peanut gallery about cultural appropriation, racism and pandering. Bernie? Not so much:

Up to the farm for two days

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Heading up later this afternoon. Got a meeting with a contractor Thursday morning but nothing else down here - back up for another bunch of clearing crap out.

Had weird dreams last night - dreaming about earth movement. Not quakes but subsidence. Streets in Bellingham shifting and sliding around. We had another small and deep temblor off the coastline last night - 3.4M off Ocean Shores but that would have been undetectable from here.

Out the door

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Dropping the bills off at the post office, picking up some CDs from the library and getting a bite to eat.

A great disturbance in the Force

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Actually, not that bad.

We just had a Mag 2.5 earthquake near Neah Bay. 37km deep so very minor.

Child abuse in the news - Measles

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The news just keeps getting better - from Reuters:

Measles outbreak spreads to Oklahoma as U.S. reports 41 new cases
The worst measles outbreak in the United States in 25 years has spread to Oklahoma, federal health officials said on Monday as they reported 41 new cases nationwide, raising the total number sickened this year to 880 people.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 4.9% increase in the number of measles cases from May 10 to May 17 in an outbreak that has now reached 24 states. The agency has been providing weekly updates every Monday.

Parents who do not vaccinate their children need to really have their heads examined.

Creepy Joe and Global Warming

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Looks like he is trying to pad his resume - from PJ Media:

'Uniter-in-Chief' Biden Takes Credit for Starting 'This Whole Thing' on Climate Change in '87
Remember when Joe Biden suggested that both sides seek a “middle ground” on climate policy, and was blasted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, forcing him to walk back his proposal? Well, in the hopes of trying to maintain his radical leftist credentials, Joe Biden is now claiming he’s responsible for bringing the issue of climate change to the public consciousness.

Former Vice President Biden was asked Saturday by an activist with the US Youth Climate Strike if he would support a presidential climate debate hosted by her group, at which point he jumped in to tout his global-warming bona fides.

“By the way, I want you to know: I’m the guy that did all this stuff—read RealClearPolitics, it will tell you about how I started this whole thing back in ’87 with climate change,” he said at a campaign stop in video posted online.

Asked if he would commit to being a leader, he said, “I guarantee I’ll be a leader.”

Biden was the first senator to introduce climate change legislation, 1986 Global Climate Protection Act, but, him trying to take credit for the movement to address climate change is as absurd as Al Gore claiming he invented the internet. In fact, Politifact notes, “Biden’s bill was not the first time Congress focused on climate change.”

The 2020 Democratic race is a clown car. Political theater at its finest.

Q10 text editor

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I always like looking at different text editors. Q10 looks good - very simple. None of the bloat that MS Word has.

I had written about this sale on May 8th and the auction comes to an end today in six hours. So very tempting. She needs about $100K to bring up to decent condition and there is probably some asbestos remediation needed but still, this is a screaming deal.

Quelle surprise - illegal invaders

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From Russa Today:

DNA pilot tests show 30% of migrants stopped at US border not related to ‘their’ kids - report
In a pilot program conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) DNA tests were being taken of immigrants who are suspected of arriving at America’s southern border with children who were not theirs.

“There’s been some concern about, ‘Are they stepfathers or adopted fathers?’” an official involved in the system's temporary rollout told Washington Examiner“Those were not the case. In these cases, they are misrepresented as family members.” 

Who is bankrolling this? Classical Cloward-Piven - overwhelm the system.

Of course - from the Washington Examiner:

Trey Gowdy: FBI withheld 'game changer' transcript material from FISA Court
Former Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., says there are unreleased transcripts of recorded conversations between FBI informants and former Trump campaign associate George Papadopoulos that “has the potential to be a game changer.”

In a Fox News interview with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday, the former House Oversight Committee chairman said when the FBI listens in on phone calls or sends in an informant wearing a wire then “there’s a transcript of that” and that “one in particular has the potential to actually persuade people.”

In laying out a series of questions about the origins of the counterintelligence investigation into President Trump's campaign and the FBI and Justice Department's handling of the operation, Gowdy listed a series of questions he thinks need to be answered, including: “Where are the transcripts, if any exist, between the informants and the telephone calls to George Papadopoulos?”

I would not want Gowdy investigating me - he is unstoppable. There are a lot of clips of him on CSPAN - worth watching.

Good riddance - Salon

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The Schadenfreude is strong with this story - from RedState:

Salon.Com Is Going Out Of Business And That Means Our National Politics Are Healthier Than We Thought
Sometimes when a company implodes you feel sorry for the people who are losing their jobs. Sometimes, however, it is very, very difficult to do so. This week, the New York Post reported on one of those instances where a company fails and you have an urge to send “Learn to Code” memes to every single one of their employees:

Salon Media Group, a one-time digital darling, has fallen on hard times. It lost its CEO of the past three years last week and appears to be on the brink of a deal to sell itself for a fire sale price of $5 million.

It's initial IPO raised $107 Million.

Good news from Belgium

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Looks like some clear heads are passing laws there - from MSN:

Making your kids go vegan can mean jail time in Belgium
On May 16, the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium issued an opinion that will make it possible to imprison parents who enforce a vegan diet on their children.

The academy determined that veganism for kids is “unethical” because it can lead to health problems for growing children, the Belgian publication Le Soir reports (link in French). The animal-product-free diet isn’t technically prohibited, and the ruling doesn’t necessarily equate veganism with child neglect. However, it will make it easier to prosecute parents who impose the strict diet and whose children have health problems.

Children can follow a vegan diet if it’s accompanied by medical supervision, regular blood tests, and vitamin supplements, Belgian pediatricians concluded. However, parents who don’t follow through on the additional requirements risk two years in prison, fines, and the possibility that their children will be removed from their homes if the kids do have associated health issues.

Good - you can maintain a fairly healthy life eating vegetarian but going vegan tips you over the edge. I can always tell when someone is vegan - they look really unhealthy.

Rainy day

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Raining all morning. Did the usual coffee & post office routine - returned some stuff to the library and hit the thrift store. @home paying some bills now and will be doing a dump run later. Also working on the remaining photos from the Studio Tour.

I was there (Mt. Vernon, WA store) yesterday before dinner and noticed a major reset of the checkout lanes. I forget the exact numbers but they had over 20 checkout lanes and maybe 10 self-service stations.

They now have nine manned checkout lanes and 26 self-service stations.

That is one way to deal with the rising labor costs... Wonder where those extra cashiers are working these days?

If at first you do not succeed...

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First, the term of art was Global Warming. Then it morphed into a more general Climate Change. And now, this - from Legal Insurrection:

Green justice advocates may soon rebrand “Climate Change”
Green justice advocates and the political minions that cater to them may soon rebrand the phrase, “Climate Change.”

A new study, conducted by a specialty neurological research group, indicates the current term does not adequately gin-up angst in listeners.

New York City-based SPARK Neuro, a neuroanalytics company that measures emotion and attention, studied how participants responded to six terms — “climate crisis,” “environmental destruction,” “environmental collapse,” “weather destabilization,” “global warming” and “climate change.”

A total of 120 people — 40 Republicans, 40 Democrats and 40 independents — participated in the study, which measured the “emotional intensity” of responses to audio recordings of various controversial phrases, with each term inserted, like this example below:

“Sea levels will rise dramatically, to the point that many coastal cities will be submerged, as a result of [INSERT TERM].”

The electrical activity of the participants’ brains and skin was rated on a scale of zero to five — five being the strongest. Those results were then compared to a traditional survey for reference.

Two terms stood out from the pack: climate crisis and environmental destruction.

Spencer Gerrol, CEO of SPARK Neuro, indicated that generating strong emotion inspires people to act. It seems “climate change” and “global warming” are outdated and overused.

It does not adequately gin-up angst in listeners because the average listener does not believe that human-caused Global Warming exists. The scientific data sure do not show it. Global Warming is a political thing and not a scientific thing.

Ho. Li. Crap - Yamaha CS-80

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The CS-80 is one of the all-time incredible synthesizers out there. It has been used on many film soundtracks (Chariots of Fire, Blade RUnner, etc...). Older design (programming settings is a bitch) but Yamaha just simply got the sound right. Lush and incredible. Very very rare and when they do come up for sale, they are priced at over $10K for a working unit.

From Synthtopia:

Behringer Announces Plan To Clone Yamaha CS-80
Behringer today announced that it’s cloning the Yamaha CS-80.

In a message on Facebook, they announced that they’re moving forward with a design prototype:

Around a month ago we acquired an original and long extinct Yamaha CS80 and ever since we’ve been working on coming up with our own DS80 version.

Please bear in mind that this will be a design study only and we love to get your feedback before we decide how to move forward. We will be sharing our design in the next few days.

Fasten your seatbelts.

Behringer head Uli Behringer last week shared several teaser images of a vintage Yamaha CS-80, without discussing their intentions.

Now the company says that it will, at the very least, be cloning the classic polysynth as a Behringer DS-80 design study.

Very cool!

Processing the 561 photographs that I took... Already done a slug of them from the last weekend but took an additional 245 yesterday and today.

Heading out to the Chinese buffet for dinner and then back home. Island tomorrow and then to the farm for a couple of days - done with this months meetings, etc...

Great news from the New York Post:

Trump: Biden’s son should face probe over China business deal
President Trump says Joe Biden should be investigated over a conservative author’s allegations that his son Hunter Biden pocketed millions from the Chinese government in a shady business deal.

“One-hundred percent. It’s a disgrace. And then he says China’s not a competitor of ours. China is a massive competitor of ours. They want to take over the world,” the president told Steve Hilton of Fox News Channel’s “The Next Revolution.”

In his 2018 book, “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends,” author Peter Schweizer charged that Hunter was cashing in while then-veep Biden was negotiating with China.

“The vice president is negotiating a bunch of very sensitive issues with the Chinese, including the South China Sea, trade, tech transfer, etc. Shortly after they return to the US, Hunter Biden’s firm receives a $1 billion private equity deal from the Chinese government We have no way of knowing how much Rosemont made on the deal because there are no disclosure requirements,” he wrote.

I read this book a couple of months ago - very well researched and about 30 pages full of references and links to back up the allegations. Biden is crooked.

20190518-moon.jpg

Done shooting for the day

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Got to 18 studios today and 14 more to go for tomorrow. Overall, looking at about 30-35 hours of work with four days shooting and another ten hours sorting and processing. Fun stuff and darktable is working like a champ. Used to use Adobe Lightroom but they went to a subscription model and do not really like that. Besides, darktable is free open source software - great stuff.

Picked up another tranche of music CDs and one concert DVD to rip. My collection is now at 19,927 individual songs. If each song was three minutes, that would be a total of just under 50 days of continuous music. Gonna be set for life (or until my musical tastes change).

Boiling some more noodles and heating up the last of the smoked brisket for dinner tonight. Picked up some fresh green lettuce from a local farmer so looking forward to a great salad. Out for a beer after.

Farm on Monday for a couple of days.

Out for a fun day of photography

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Clear skies and warm today - great weather for the studio tour.

Dinner time

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Heading out after for a pint or two. More later.

Thinking of getting a tattoo?

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From the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

FDA Advises Consumers, Tattoo Artists, and Retailers to Avoid Using or Selling Certain Tattoo Inks Contaminated with Microorganisms

Product
The following tattoo inks have been recalled because they are contaminated with microorganisms:

    • Scalpaink SCScalpaink PA, and Scalpaink AL basic black tattoo inks manufactured by Scalp Aesthetics (all lots)
    • Dynamic Color - Black tattoo ink manufactured by Dynamic Color Inc  (lots 12024090 and 12026090)
    • Solid Ink-Diablo (red) tattoo ink manufactured by Color Art Inc. (dba Solid Ink) (dba Antone's Ink) (lot 10.19.18)

Purpose
The FDA is alerting consumers, tattoo artists, and retailers of the potential for serious injury from use of tattoo inks that are contaminated with bacteria. Tattoo inks contaminated with microorganisms can cause infections and lead to serious health injuries when injected into the skin during a tattooing procedure, since there is an increased risk of infection any time the skin barrier is broken.

Yikes... Thought about getting a dragon on my forearm from time to time but never have and probably never will.

A 2016 police report has surfaced - from Breitbart:

Exclusive — 2016 Arizona Police Report: Cocaine Pipe Found in Car Rented by Joe Biden’s Son Hunter Biden, Authorities Declined to Prosecute
Breitbart News has exclusively obtained a heretofore unreported-on police report from days before the 2016 presidential election that describes how a cocaine pipe that authorities determined was used to smoke cocaine was found in a rental car returned to an Arizona Hertz location in the middle of the night. Also found in the vehicle were several personal effects of Hunter Biden, then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son, like two of his DC driver’s licenses, multiple credit cards, and personally identifying information like a Delaware Attorney General badge and a U.S. Secret Service business card that police said bore his name. Hunter Biden, according to the police report, had rented the vehicle from a location in California with the intent to return it to the Prescott, Arizona, location, where it was discovered the morning after it was dropped off with the drug paraphernalia and Hunter Biden’s personal effects inside.

The 23 page police report is at the Breitbart site and there is a lot more to read - a bit more:

Two different Prescott Police Department officers as well as a detective conducted an investigation—but ultimately local authorities in both the city and county attorney’s offices declined to prosecute the case. A document shows the reason the county attorney declined to prosecute the vice president’s son is because they thought they would only be able to get minor charges to stick, and kicked it down to the city attorney. It is unclear from the documents why the city attorney declined to prosecute.

In addition to local police, FBI and the U.S. Secret Service agents were roped into the case, as well. The FBI dispatched agents to the scene, according to the law enforcement documents, and the Secret Service communicated with the various law enforcement officials investigating and confirmed that Hunter Biden was not in harm’s way.

And, lest we forget, Biden Jr. has had previous problems with Cocaine - a clickable headline:

Vice President Joe Biden’s Son Hunter Ashamed After Cocaine-Related Dismissal From Navy

Of course, the elite never get prosecuted - the rules are for the little people.

Long day

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There was a boat show about 30 miles to the North - drove up but did not go in. Too many people and raining pretty heavily. Doing the studio photography tomorrow and Sunday so already have a busy weekend.

Stopped in at this place: Heritage Air Museum and was very pleasantly surprised. This is an actual flying museum - all of the displays are fully flight-worthy and they take them out for air shows once/month. They were doing periodic maintanence on several of them so it was a lot of fun to see all the "stuff" beneath the skin.

Fixing some dinner and surfing a bit. Doing BBQ Beef Brisket with tomatoes served over bow-tie noodles. Pressure cooking the meat and 'maters so they will be fall-apart tender and succulent.

Own a piece of history for $15

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Authentic Russian gas mask - for sale on Amazon:

20190517-gasmask.JPG

Good meeting last night

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The swap meet earned a good chunk of change (admission charges plus renting out 64 tables to vendors).

Heading out to do more photography for the studio tour tomorrow - rainy and overcast today.

Up to the farm sometime Tuesday. Nothing much happening in the real world...

If the President is incapable of performing their duties, the succession goes to the Vice President and then to the Speaker of the House. Here is Speaker Pelosi speaking to The American Road & Transportation Builders Association on the 15th (yesterday). This scares me. Who keeps putting her back in office?

Madame Speaker is 79 years old. Time to retire from the stage before she really loses it...

They found it - Beresheet

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From NASA:

Beresheet Impact Site Spotted

20190516-beresheet.jpg

The photo above shows the landing site of the Israeli Beresheet spacecraft on a region of the Moon called Sea of Serenity, or Mare Serenitatis in Latin. On April 11, 2019,

SpaceIL, a non-profit organization, attempted to land its spacecraft in this ancient volcanic field on the nearside of the Moon. After a smooth initial descent, Beresheet made a hard landing on the surface.

As soon as its orbit placed NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) over the landing site on April 22, 2019, LRO imaged Beresheet’s impact site. The LRO Camera (LROC) consists of three imagers: a seven-color Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and two black-and-white Narrow Angle Cameras (NAC) mounted on the LRO, which has been studying the Moon from orbit for a decade. NAC captured the Beresheet impact photo.

A lot more at the site - some amazing technology at work. People complain about all the money that NASA spends but they fail to realize all the basic technologies that were developed and are in common (and cheap) use today.

Rain rain go away

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We need it but it puts a crimp in my yard work...

Lunch break - paying bills this afternoon.

Working at home today

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More yard work - some stuff had not been pruned for over five years so getting that cleaned up.

Ham radio meeting tonight.

Good - common sense prevails

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From Breitbart:

Christian Student Group Wins Lawsuit with University of Colorado
The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) has settled a lawsuit with a Christian student group which forces the university to recognize the group as an official student organization.

Breitbart News reported in February that a Christian student group at UCCS had filed a lawsuit against their university over its refusal to recognize them as an official student organization. This week, UCCS settled with the Ratio Christi student group.

The original legal complaint against the university claimed that administrators told students that they could not require their group leader to be a Christian. “It has refused to do so specifically because this religious organization seeks to ensure that its leaders share its beliefs and that its members support its mission, even though other student organizations do the same,” the complaint read.

A bit more:

Alliance for Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Travis Barham said that he is pleased with the outcome of the settlement. Barham claims that the settlement included an admission by the university that they failed to uphold the students’ right to free association.

“It would be absurd for the university to require the vegan student group to appoint a meat-lover as its president,” Barham said. “Thankfully, the university has acknowledged its error and announced a policy that respects students’ rights to free association, no longer forcing Christian students to let atheists or other non-Christians to lead their Bible studies in order to become a registered club.”

Great example of what was illogical thinking. The University admin. was disconnected from reality. Glad to see that Ratio Christi pushed back and defended themselves against this decision.

Murder most vile

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Seems that anti-abortion laws are happening not just in Alabama but in other states as well. A couple of headlines:

Liberals see abortion as a "right" - I see it as murder. I do see some instances where it is justified - amniotic testing finds a known birth defect, rape or incest, etc... but it needs to be done at the earliest possible time. The recent push by liberals extending the deadline to actual live birth is grotesque.

Rot at the top - CIA and FBI

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An interesting look at the historical record from Tyler at Zero Hedge:

Both Comey And Brennan Voted Communist While Cold War Was Raging
The heads of Obama's FBI and CIA both voted for Communists during the Cold War, yet were somehow able to move up the ranks within the same US intelligence community that had spent decades fighting that very ideology. 

Journalist Paul Sperry noted on Wednesday that former FBI Director James Comey admitted in a 2003 interview to having voted Communist before casting his ballot for Jimmy Carter in 1980. 

"In college, I was left of center," Comey told New York Magazine, and through a gradual process I found myself more comfortable with a lot of the ideas and approaches the Republicans were using.” He voted for Carter in 1980, but in ’84, “I voted for Reagan—I’d moved from Communist to whatever I am now. I’m not even sure how to characterize myself politically. Maybe at some point, I’ll have to figure it out.”

Of note, Comey's wife and four daughters were all giant Hillary Clinton supporters who wanted her to win "really badly." 

Former CIA Director John Brennan, meanwhile, admitted in 2016 to voting Communist in the 1970s. When asked at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual conference whether past activism would create a barrier for diverse candidates who want to enter the intelligence community, Brennan said that he was forced to admit to voting for Communist Gus Hall for president in 1976, according to CNN

"I froze, because I was getting so close to coming into CIA and said, 'OK, here's the choice, John. You can deny that, and the machine is probably going to go, you know, wacko, or I can acknowledge it and see what happens," CNN quoted Brennan as saying. 

Brennan (who was sworn in as CIA director on a draft of the US Constitution, without the Bill of Rights, instead of a Bible) said that while he had voted Communist, he wasn't an official member of the Communist Party - and was relieved that he had been accepted into the CIA.

Emphases and highlighting is from Tyler. Also at Zero Hedge is this interesting tussle between the two agencies:

FBI-CIA Dispute Erupts Over Whether Comey Or Brennan Pushed Steele Dossier
A dispute has erupted over whether former FBI Director James Comey or his CIA counterpart, John Brennan, promoted the unverified Steele dossier as the Obama-era intelligence community targeted the Trump campaign.

According to Fox Newsan email chain exists which indicates that Comey told bureau subordinates that Brennan insisted on the dossier's inclusion in the intelligence community assessment (ICA) on Russian interference. Also interesting is that the dossier was referred to as "crown material" in the emails - a possible reference to the fact that Steele is a former British spy. 

In a statement to Fox, however, a former CIA official "put the blame squarely on Comey." 

"Former Director Brennan, along with former [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey’s recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report," said the official. 

Much more at the site. The next year is going to be a lot of fun to see. The whole Democratic deep-state is unraveling.

Illegal immigration and crime

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Interesting numbers from the US Department of Justice - from Conservative Review:

DOJ report: 43% of all offenders last year were non-citizens
While jailbreak, known by its proponents as “criminal justice reform,” is misguided on the state level, it is downright built upon a false premise on the federal level. The latest report from the U.S. Sentencing Commission demonstrates that the 800-pound gorilla in the room clogging up the federal criminal justice system is immigration, not “low-level” domestic offenders.

If we only solved our border problem and deported illegal aliens before they commit more crimes, not only would we be safer, but we’d save a ton of money on the federal criminal justice system – without irresponsibly releasing American criminals back into our communities, as proposed by jailbreak proponents.

According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, in its recently published 2018 report on federal sentencing statistics, 54.3 percent of the 69,425 federal offenders last year were Hispanic, and 42.7 percent of offenders were non-citizens. The two biggest offense categories were immigration (34.4 percent) and drugs (28.1 percent).

Much more at the site with links to corroborating data.

How much are the cartels paying Schumer and Pelosi? No other answer comes to mind.

Great quote

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"Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility."
--Sigmund Freud

Heh - President Trump negotiates

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A. F. Branco highlights the difference between two Presidents:

20190515-branco.jpg

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

'Winter storm warning' issued for Sierra in mid-May
With a moisture-rich atmospheric river taking aim at Northern California, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the northern Sierra Nevada. It is in effect from Wednesday night through Friday morning.

A bit more:

"We do get storms in May but the strength of this storm is anomalous," said Brendon Rubin-Oster, a forecaster with the NWS's Sacramento office. "We're getting a winter caliber system in May."

When the storm reaches its height in intensity Wednesday night, the bull's eye will likely be centered over Yosemite and Tuolumne County, where 2 to 2.5 feet of snow could fall between Wednesday and Friday. Rubin-Oster warns Highway 120 through Yosemite National Park could see significant snow.

What are you going to believe - the output from some computer model or your eyes. The hype that we only have 12 years to "DO SOMETHING" is abject bullshit.

Hot out there

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Forecast was for overcast and cool but the sun is out with high clouds - working up a sweat.

Fun times - Iran this time

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From gCaptain:

U.S. Believes Iran Encouraged Tanker Attacks - U.S. Sources
U.S. officials believe Iran encouraged Houthi militants or Iraq-based Shi’ite militias to carry out Sunday’s attacks on four tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, two U.S. government sources said on Wednesday.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity and who are familiar with U.S. national security assessments, said they viewed the attacks as a serious provocation by Iran which posed a significant threat to shipping.

Iran rejects the allegation of Iranian involvement and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that “extremist individuals” in the U.S. government were pursuing dangerous policies. No one has claimed responsibility for the tanker attacks.

Of course they are going to deny everything - that is their modus. They never do anything overt but they are the primary source of funding for terrorism. They bankroll the so-called palestinians (actually nomadic Jordanians).

Back to work

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Done with lunch and a quick surf. Having dinner out tonight and got a meeting tomorrow. More later.

Fun times in Iraq - developing

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From the U.S. Department of State:

Iraq Travel Advisory
Do not travel to Iraq due to terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

U.S. citizens in Iraq are at high risk for violence and kidnapping. Numerous terrorist and insurgent groups are active in Iraq and regularly attack both Iraqi security forces and civilians. Anti-U.S. sectarian militias may also threaten U.S. citizens and Western companies throughout Iraq. Attacks by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) occur in many areas of the country, including Baghdad.

The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq is extremely limited. On May 15, 2019, the Department of State ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil; normal visa services will be temporarily suspended at both posts. On October 18, 2018, the Department of State ordered the temporary suspension of operations at the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah. The American Citizens Services (ACS) Section at the U.S. Embassy Baghdad will continue to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in Basrah.

U.S. citizens should not travel through Iraq to Syria to engage in armed conflict, where they would face extreme personal risks (kidnapping, injury, or death) and legal risks (arrest, fines, and expulsion). The Kurdistan Regional Government stated that it will impose prison sentences of up to ten years on individuals who illegally cross the border. Additionally, fighting on behalf of, or supporting designated terrorist organizations, is a crime that can result in penalties, including prison time and large fines in the United States.

Shit's getting hot over there.

Open borders - illegal immigration

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We do not know who is streaming through our Southern borders. From Laredo, Texas station KGNS:

African immigrants protest at bridge
Hundreds of African immigrants were seen protesting at a Laredo port of entry on Monday morning.

The migrants are claiming that not enough is being done by either the U.S. or Mexican officials to help them get asylum into the United States.

Immigrants from Africa made up of men, women and children stood their ground waiting for answers outside the Mexican customs offices near a Laredo bridge.

Who is paying for this? Several hundred airplane tickets, lodging, transportation, food - that is some serious money being spent. Who is spending it? It certainly has a Cloward-Piven stench to it...

Those Chinese tariffs

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Speaking truth to power at Economics website Market Watch:

The media is lying to you about Trump’s China tariffs
Are you kidding me?

I’m used to partisan, inaccurate drivel from all sides these days, but the media’s coverage of President Trump’s tariffs and the so-called “trade war” takes some kind of cake.

More - with a little bit about the author:

I write this, incidentally, as someone who is no fan of the president. But I remember when politics was supposed to stop at the water’s edge.

And, anyway, facts are facts. Most of what the public is being told about these tariffs is either misleading or a downright lie.

I’ve been following the coverage all weekend with my jaw on the floor.

And the numbers:

Uncle Sam benefits
Yes, tariffs are “costs.” But they do not somehow destroy our money. They do not take our hard-earned dollars and burn them in a big pile. Tariffs are simply federal taxes. That’s it. The extra costs paid by importers, and consumers, goes to Uncle Sam, to distribute as he sees fit, including, for example, on Obamacare subsidies.

It wasn’t long ago the media was complaining because Trump was cutting taxes. Now it’s complaining he’s raising them. Confused? Me too.

And the amounts involved are trivial. Chicken feed.

President Trump just hiked tariffs from 10% to 25% on about $200 billion in Chinese imports. In other words, he just raised taxes by … $30 billion a year.

Oh, no!

The total amount we all paid in taxes last year — federal, state and local — was $5.51 trillion. This tax increase that has everyone’s panties in a twist is a rounding error.

Tempest in a teapot. We import much more from China than China imports from us. President Trump is trying to balance that out a bit. Carrot and stick.

Fun times in D.C. - a three-fer

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Things are starting to get interesting:

First - this wonderful editorial at Town Hall:

Why Did the Anti-Trump Conspirators Throw Their Lives Away?
There is an old expression in power politics: If you are going to kill the king, you had better kill the king. This figure of speech in essence means that if a cabal of coup plotters plans to remove an extremely powerful leader of a country, they had better do so with the knowledge that if they fail in their attempt, the retribution they face will be severe, crushing and irredeemable. Those who sought to destroy Donald Trump failed. And they failed spectacularly. Now I believe they are going to face a retribution as deserving as those who would seek to kill a king.  The question that most fascinates me is: Why would this cabal of anti-Trump plotters risk everything - their reputations, their fortunes and possibly even their freedom - to subvert an American presidential election and then a presidency itself?

Why indeed - second, from CNS News:

Ex-DOJ Official: Democrats Should Be 'Quite Worried' About Latest Investigation of the Investigators
The New York Times reports that Attorney General William Barr has assigned John Durham, the United States Attorney in Connecticut (and a Trump appointee) to look into the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation.

According to the report, Durham "has a history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among national security officials."

Dunham was the lawyer who took down the rogue agents in the Boston FBI office. They were helping convicted mobster Whitey Bulger - excellent pick.
Third, from Tyler at Zero Hedge:

No "Do-Over" On Russia Investigation: White House Tells Nadler To Pound Sand
White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in a Wednesday letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) that Congress doesn't get a "do over" of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and others conducted by the Justice Department. 

Nadler has led recent efforts in the Democratic-controlled House to continue, which are set to include hearings with Mueller himself, along with key witnesses in his investigation.

"Congressional investigations are intended to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation, not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized 'do-over' of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice," reads the 12-page letter laying out a legal argument for why Nadler is overstepping his bounds.

Heh - they spent two years and $25.2 million (our dollars paid in taxes) and found nothing. This quote from Albert Einstein comes to mind:

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Cold weather

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Had to put on a jacket when working outside - overcast and 50's. From Cliff Mass:

A Wet Period Ahead for the U.S. West Coast
The first half of May has been generally dry and warm over the Pacific Northwest, but soon everything will change.

The second half of the month promises to be cool and wet in Washington and Oregon, with northern California swamped by highly unusual amounts of rain. As we shall see, this wet period has highly positive implications for the upcoming wildfire/smoke season.

More at the site. The ten-day forecast for here is mostly cloudy and high 50's / low 60's

Measles in Seattle

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From Seattle station KIRO:

King and Pierce County Health Departments warn of possible measles exposure
Health departments in Pierce and King counties are warning of a possible measles exposure in over a dozen locations spanning both counties.

A Pierce County man in his 40s spent time at a number of public locations while contagious.

So far, this single case has not been linked to any others. It is not known where the man contracted measles.

Sigh... Anti-vax is child abuse plain and simple.

Back to work

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Done with lunch - back to work on the lawn and horsetail. Also filling the hummingbird feeders - made some nectar yesterday.

Heh - a country song

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Who can forget Steve Goodman's Perfect Country and Western Song

Lunch break

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Taking some time off for a sandwich and surf for a little bit.

Have a major infestation of Horsetail in the garden so looking at how to get rid of it (next to impossible). Got some weed-killer and a couple hypodermic syringes at the local feed store so spending this afternoon scissoring off the top and injecting the stalk. These are just in the raised beds so should only take an hour or two.

Got some bacon thawing out - doing bacon/bean soup for dinner tonight. Start in on processing the studio photographs tonight.

Done with the photography

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Finished off 14 hours of photography over three days - got some good stuff and got to see everyone's art studios. There are some amazing people out here. Now I get to spend another couple hours on darktable developing them.

Heading out for dinner in a bit - need to pick up a few things at Lowe's. Been trying to attract crows to a feeder. This island was called Crow Island during the period of intense logging from 1900 through the 1950's. It was officially named in 1847 for the Spanish explorer Jacinto Caamaño (here and here). It's native name was Kal-lut-chin which in the language of the Snohomish means "land jutting into a bay".

Anyway, I purchased and deployed a couple molded plastic crow decoys ($4 each shipped from China!) and they are working. Crows love peanuts in the shell and the shells prevent seagulls and other birds from stealing the food. Came home this afternoon to find about ten of them perched around the house - tossed out a handful of the peanuts and they were very happy.

Planning to build a raised platform feeder as crows like these the best. Need to get a couple things at Lowe's for that. Chinese buffet for dinner and then back home.

And that is it for tonight

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Watch a couple videos and then finish taking the studio tour photos (six more to go) tomorrow. Farm sometime Tuesday.

Terrorism at home

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From Pensacola, Fl station WEAR-TV:

FBI uncovers homegrown terror training camp in Alabama
At first glance, it looks like an abandoned dump.

But this plot of land in Macon County, Alabama is described in an FBI search warrant as a "makeshift military-style obstacle course" belonging to a small group of terrorists led by Siraj Wahhaj who owned the property up a long dirt road but just a few miles from downtown Tuskegee.

The property, similar to another compound in New Mexico the group is now linked to where federal prosecutors say Wahhaj and four other suspects were training children to carry out deadly terror attacks on American soil.

These goblins are streaming in through our Southern border and are setting up shop here, recruiting sleeper cells and generally waiting to wreak havoc on us. Time to enforce the borders and clean house.

Just beautiful

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Who knew that Sir Anthony Hopkins composes music when he is not acting:

And after the concert he murdered and ate one of the clarinet players.
With Fava beans and a nice Chianti...

Tip of the hat to Kim DuToit - his website is a daily read for me.

Long day

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Went to the ham radio swap meet this morning - since I am a member of the club that is hosting it, I was needed to work the event. Got some great deals on parts so very happy. It was well attended with 64 vendors represented and about 200 attendees wandering about in the Stanwood Middle School gym:

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I picked up three feed-through insulators similar to this one:

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Five bucks for three of them was a screamin' deal - the split part in the center is designed to fit into a hole in a weatherproof box with the half on the inside connected to the transmitter circuitry and the other half on the outside feeding your antenna. Glazed ceramic stands up to a lot of radio energy - you can make these from plastic but plastic will absorb moisture from the air and you will get losses and heating. Ceramic is perfect. Like I said, screamin' deal.

I also picked up a digital picture frame - next winter I plan to start scanning a bunch of older family photos and it will be nice to have them on display. Five bucks for that too.

Spent the rest of the afternoon taking photographs of the Studio Tour - volunteered to take them this year. 32 Studios and a lot of really wonderful art and wonderful people.

Had the prime rib dinner at the Legion Hall (Second Saturday) so stuffed and feeling tired.

Out the door

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Ready to roll - today's event starts at 10:00AM - getting some coffee first. Switch over to this event at 4:30PM

Busy weekend...

The Trump Presidency

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An interesting look at President Trump's America - from American Greatness:

Democrats’ Collapse Could Happen Quickly
There are signs of Democrats’ coming electoral collapse, some anecdotal, some by the numbers. Most Democrats are staying loyal to their party, no matter how far how left their party shifts. But President Trump doesn’t need most Democrats; he only needs a few to get turned off by the Democrats’ radical proposals and identity politics.

Immediately after the 2018 midterms, it looked as if the strategy of dirtying President Trump in the eyes of low-information voters was working well for them. The collapse of the Russian collusion hoax has changed the equation.

A very interesting observation:

Democrats’ decision to change the demographics of our country through open borders is alienating many Hispanic voters. The attendance figures for President Trump’s El Paso rally sent a shiver of fear through Democrats: 70 percent of rally attendees were Latino, 50 percent were Democrats. This month, the McLaughlin poll shows a 50 percent jump in Trump’s approval among Hispanics.

There are solid reasons for Trump’s rising popularity among this demographic. More American Latinos start small businesses than any other group in the United States. Jobs are booming. Their wage growth has jumped above the national average. They don’t need to read the paper to understand they are competing for work with illegals. They are being terrorized by criminal illegals killing and raping their family members and neighbors. Liberal talking points can’t hide those realities.

The Democrats are out of touch with their constituents. They are imposing their ideas on us normals, they are not leading.

More at the site - some interesting ideas.

On the island

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It got hot today - temps up to 78°F

Fixing a simple dinner and then out to a meeting tonight - Camano Preparedness Group and tonight's session is on alternative techniques for communication for non-Hams. About 10% of the group are already licensed and we keep urging people to study and get, at least, their Technician's license. About 40 hours of rote memorization over a month or two and you are good to go.

Getting the camera batteries charged up for this weekend. I will be busy.

Out for coffee

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Stop in at the store for a while and then back home to pack. Heading out to the condo with another load and then down to the island for a meeting tonight and a very very busy weekend.

Offended snowflakes

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No sense of history:

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Dinner was good

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Stuffed and heading out for a beer or two. Got a lot packed up. Will be bringing some more music things down to the island tomorrow as well as stuff for the yard sale at the condo. Nice to have a keyboard set up within sight of the ocean. Very inspiring.

Fun needlepoint:

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Got a spare $30K or so?

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Wanna buy a boat? The Clifford A. Barnes is up for auction with 12 days remaining.

65.5' Oceanographic Vessel: Clifford A. Barnes
This vessel is located at the UW Marine Sciences Building dock on our Seattle campus.

The Clifford A. Barnes has been a “local” class oceanographic research vessel built originally as a U.S. Coast Guard ice-breaking harbor tugboat. The vessel was transferred to the National Science Foundation in 1982 before its conversion to marine science research and assignment to the University of Washington. Full ownership for R/V Barnes was transferred to the UW in late 2018.

R/V Clifford A. Barnes was built in 1966 at Western Boat in Tacoma, Washington, as USCGC Bitt WYTL 65613. The Barnes and her sisters were a class of fifteen (15) ice-breaking small harbor tugs designed for Ice Ops, Search/Rescue and Pollution Response. As the BITT, she operated from Puget Sound to Alaska and was decommissioned in 1982 and surplussed to the National Science Foundation.

$30K is a screaming deal - this boat is built like a tank, very heavy and rock solid. Cruises at about eight knots with a range of about 1K miles. Perfect for cruising the inside passage in comfort and style. I have never sailed on her but have toured her a couple times while I was working for the marine engineering company (my last Seattle job). She needs some paint and a good bit of TLC but eminently seaworthy. I could see myself spending many a pleasant afternoon behind this desk:

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alt.energy in the news

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Sobering dose of reality from Germany by way of Forbes Magazine:

The Reason Renewables Can't Power Modern Civilization Is Because They Were Never Meant To
Over the last decade, journalists have held up Germany’s renewables energy transition, the Energiewende, as an environmental model for the world.

“Many poor countries, once intent on building coal-fired power plants to bring electricity to their people, are discussing whether they might leapfrog the fossil age and build clean grids from the outset,” thanks to the Energiewendewrote a New York Times reporter in 2014.

With Germany as inspiration, the United Nations and World Bank poured billions into renewables like wind, solar, and hydro in developing nations like Kenya.

But then, last year, Germany was forced to acknowledge that it had to delay its phase-out of coal, and would not meet its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction commitments. It announced plans to bulldoze an ancient church and forest in order to get at the coal underneath it.

Much more at the site. Nice idea but it simply does not pencil out without huge government subsidies (our tax dollars at work). Plus, because it is not a reliable source, the utilities have to maintain a backup generator running all the time on "hot standby" for when the wind dies.

Done for the day

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Went out for coffee, drove to the city of Lynden to drop something off, went to the condo to unload and then back home and spent the afternoon working in the barn and the DaveCave.

Heading back to the condo tomorrow and then to the island for a few days.

Taking a break and getting dinner ready - got some smoked beef brisket thawing out so will do that with some bow-tie noodles. I like cooking some frozen peas with the pasta - little pops of flavor. Toss with Kerry Gold butter and that is dinner.

Turns out that CNN's viewership has dropped to 767,000 per day for their prime-time shows. YouTube just announced that they have 2,000,000,000 views per month

Hmmm... 2,000,000,000 / 767,000 = 2607.56 / 30 = 86.91 times more per month. That has to leave a mark. Maybe if they had better programming and actually did some fact checking instead of braying out the latest narrative.

I predict this will be called out in 3... 2... 1... days from now. From The Seattle Times:

Decade in the red: Trump tax figures show more than $1 billion in business losses
By the time his master-of-the-universe memoir “Trump: The Art of the Deal” hit bookstores in 1987, Donald Trump was already in deep financial distress, losing tens of millions of dollars on troubled business deals, according to previously unrevealed figures from his federal income tax returns.

Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks triumphantly overcome. He has attributed his first run of reversals and bankruptcies to the recession that took hold in 1990. But 10 years of tax information obtained by The New York Times paints a different, and far bleaker, picture of his deal-making abilities and financial condition.

The data — printouts from Trump’s official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form, the 1040, for the years 1985 to 1994 — represents the fullest and most detailed look to date at the president’s taxes, information he has kept from public view. Though the information does not cover the tax years at the center of an escalating battle between the Trump administration and Congress, it traces the most tumultuous chapter in a long business career — an era of fevered acquisition and spectacular collapse.

Emphasis mine - I am calling bullshit on this. We will find out soon enough.

At the farm

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Nice drive up - the dogs were ecstatic to be able to run over the 30 acres - whining and prancing as I pulled up. I take them to an off-leash park on the island almost every day but this is just not the same. Still, they seem to be happy down there, just one element that is missing from their life.

A bit tired so quick surf, watch some videos and then to bed - full day tomorrow and Thursday. Meeting Thursday night and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday are spoken for (about eight hours each day).

Lots of junk email - I always get some but the volume in the last week was double the recorded average (I hate spam so I run a program that tracks it) - keep an eye out for trends.

Off to the dump and points North

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Heading out in a few minutes.

So wrong on so many levels

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Education needs to be just that. Education is not indoctrination and conflating the two is child abuse.

From Nature:

Children can foster climate change concern among their parents
The collective action that is required to mitigate and adapt to climate change is extremely difficult to achieve, largely due to socio-ideological biases that perpetuate polarization over climate change. Because climate change perceptions in children seem less susceptible to the influence of worldview or political context, it may be possible for them to inspire adults towards higher levels of climate concern, and in turn, collective action. Child-to-parent intergenerational learning — that is, the transfer of knowledge, attitudes or behaviours from children to parents — may be a promising pathway to overcoming socio-ideological barriers to climate concern. Here we present an experimental evaluation of an educational intervention designed to build climate change concern among parents indirectly through their middle school-aged children in North Carolina, USA. Parents of children in the treatment group expressed higher levels of climate change concern than parents in the control group. The effects were strongest among male parents and conservative parents, who, consistent with previous research, displayed the lowest levels of climate concern before the intervention. Daughters appeared to be especially effective in influencing parents. Our results suggest that intergenerational learning may overcome barriers to building climate concern.

The full paper is paywalled so no word as to who funded this progressive garbage. The climate change people have no data backing them up. They have to resort to rhetoric.

Climate update - 12 seconds

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This is horrible - from the Babylon Bee:

Update: We Now Have Only 12 Seconds Left Until Climate Change Destroys The Planet
A new update issued by watchdog groups on climate change indicated this afternoon that we only have 12 seconds left until climate change destroys the planet.

We previously thought we had just 12 years, then 10 years, but the latest update indicates that we have well under a minute.

"The earth will be totally destroyed in the next, oh, 12 seconds," said Beto O'Rourke at a rally. "If you don't give the government a bunch of money and power, it will happen. Trust me."

"So hand over the cash, guys," he said. "Like, now. I'm super serious."

This tragic development means that humanity won't have time to correct climate change, and our writers probably won't even have time to finish thi

Needless to say, the Bee is a satire site.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Baker Hughes chooses Permian Basin to debut 'electric frack' technology
Houston oilfield service company Baker Hughes is using the Permian Basin in West Texas to debut a fleet of new turbines that use excess natural gas from a drilling site to power hydraulic fracturing equipment — reducing flaring, carbon dioxide emissions, people and equipment in remote locations.

Flaring is the burning off of unusable gases as a byproduct of oil extraction. What they are planning:

Baker Hughes estimates 500 hydraulic fracturing fleets are deployed in shale basins across the United States and Canada. Most of them are powered by trailer-mounted diesel engines. Each fleet consumes more than 7 million gallons of diesel per year, emits an average of 70,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and require 700,000 tanker truck loads of diesel supplied to remote sites, according to Baker Hughes.

“Electric frack enables the switch from diesel-driven to electrical-driven pumps powered by modular gas turbine generating units,” Simonelli said. “This alleviates several limiting factors for the operator and the pressure pumping company such as diesel truck logistics, excess gas handling, carbon emissions and the reliability of the pressure pumping operation.”

Sounds like win/win to me...

From Tyler at Zero Hedge:

Arizona Democrats Claim No Border Crisis - Then Beg Trump For Help With Flood Of Migrants
Five Arizona House Democrats who have repeatedly denied that there is a crisis at the border have asked acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan to help with the flood of immigrants at the southern border by appointing a "federal crisis coordinator."

In a Monday letter to McAleenan, the Democrats suggested that the Trump administration's border security policies were setting up "a range of other catastrophic issues," according to The Hill

Arizona Democratic Reps. Ruben Gallego, Raúl Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick, Greg Stanton and Tom O'Halleran wrote that the administration's measures to use Defense Department funds, build a wall, cut aid to Central America and threaten to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border "will create a range of other catastrophic issues and fail to address this humanitarian crisis in any way." -The Hill

"This humanitarian crisis requires a humanitarian response," reads the letter. "To that end, we believe that you should immediately increase communication and coordination among federal, state, local, and tribal governments as well as non-governmental stakeholders to promote the well-being and safety of migrant families, process asylum claims quicker, efficiently use federal and non-federal resources, and ensure that DHS [Department of Homeland Security] can meet its national security mission." 

And let's back up a month or two:

Wait, what border crisis? 
Many of the same Democrats who signed the letter have repeatedly denied that there is a crisis at the border, only to eventually call it a "humanitarian crisis" created by President Trump. 

Much more at the site - Tyler posts copies of the various statements and tweets from these representatives saying that there is no problem and that the Federal Government needs to let them govern their own state. Fine. Now, when your errors of governence cause a crisis, you come running to the Federales with your hand out. I thought that the individual states were supposed to take care of their own problems and not come running to Uncle Sam every time they stubbed their collective toes - you do not learn anything if you are not held accountable.

Title is paraphrased from a 1967 Donovan song.

Island time

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Didn't get to painting the closet yesterday but got a lot of other stuff done. Painting takes a three hour chunk for prepping and cleaning up above and beyond the time spent slinging paint so didn't have the time to do it. I have another closet to paint and put up new shelving so will do both of them after this very busy weekend.

Sitting here with my coffee surfing a bit. Planning to do a little yard work, a trip to the dump and then up to the farm.

Interesting times - Iran

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Iran is the leading sponsor of islamic terrorism. Things are about to get interesting. From The Associated Press:

US sends carrier to Mideast, citing unspecific Iran threats
The U.S. is sending an aircraft carrier group to the Middle East ahead of schedule and warning that Iran and its proxy forces are showing “troubling and escalatory” indications of a possible attack on American forces in the region.

Exactly what prompted the action was unclear, but it marked a further step in sharply rising tensions between the Trump administration and the Islamic Republic.

National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday night the U.S. was deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Middle East, intending to send a message that “unrelenting force” will meet any attack on American forces or allies.

“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or regular Iranian forces,” he said.

It might be that the rest of the Arab world is fed up with the constant attacks..
This from The Associated Press, November 19, 2017:

Arab League delivers harsh criticism of Iran, little action
In a resolution long on criticism but short on concrete steps, Arab foreign ministers who met in Cairo Sunday delivered a tirade of criticism against Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, saying Tehran was destabilizing the region.

They said they planned to “brief” the U.N. Security Council on Iran’s destabilizing policies in the region, particularly its support for Shiite rebels in Yemen, with a view to submit at a later stage an anti-Iran Arab resolution.

In what is perhaps the only concrete measure, the ministers said Arab telecommunications satellites would ban Iranian-financed television stations for what they said was their fomenting of sectarian and ethnic tensions and because they posed a threat to Arab security. It gave no details.

“We are not declaring war on Iran at this stage,” Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said. “We have not taken a decision to ask the Security Council to meet, but we are just briefing the council and maybe the next stage would be for us to meet and call for a Security Council meeting and submit a draft Arab resolution (against Iran).”

We are exporting a lot more oil and drinking their milkshake. They can no longer afford to continue as they have been - ignoring the global realpolitik and funding sectarian violence. Time to join the rest of us in the 21st century. Good!

Break for lunch

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Getting warm out there - high overcast but temps in the high 60's with the forecast for mid-70's for this coming weekend. Great for the two events. Almost too hot for the hoop house now.

Fixing lunch and then some time indoors prepping for the painting - need to take the existing shelves out of the closet and figure out the lighting.

Out in a few

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Coffee, post office, storage unit, recycling.

Back home to paint the closet and putter in the yard - need to run the mower.

Make a few telephone calls and then heading up to the farm for a day or two.

Surfed a bit - nothing much happening out there.

Got two events this next weekend: SCARC 2019 28th ANNUAL Electronic Flea Market and Hamfest and  Camano Island Art Studio Tour

Heading out in a little bit

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Mt Vernon for Costco, Lowe's, Coop and some dinner at the Chinese Buffet.

Going to paint the closet tomorrow prior to putting in the shelves. Picking up some wood for the shelf supports - doing some nice stuff with particle board these days (never thought I would be saying THAT!) and it is 1/2 the cost of "real wood". These are stringers that will be screwed to the walls to support the shelves. I will make sure to use enough screws to hold them and they are already primed so it will be easy to paint them when I paint the rest of the closet. Using some nice oak for the front of the shelves - should look really nice.

This is in the media room where I will have my music stuff and the closet will be a primary storage location for a lot of my gear - camera stuff too.

The Chinese Buffet has a Mongolian grill as one of their options so bringing some Bok Choy for them to stir fry - they have it sometimes but I really like it so make sure to bring some along. Family run place - really nice people.

Interesting - from Newsweek:

UFOS INVADING MILITARY AIRSPACE MULTIPLE TIMES PER MONTH, BUT PUBLIC WON’T BE TOLD MORE
Since 2014, UFOs have intruded upon military airspace as often as several times per month, a military official told the Washington Post. In a follow-up published by the Post on Monday, the same official said that the U.S. Navy will not share any more information regarding what they call “unexplained aerial phenomena” with the public, despite drafting formal procedures to document UFO sightings on an ongoing basis.

“There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air spaces in recent years,” the Navy said in a statement released to Politico, who first reported on the new approach. “The Navy is updating and formalizing the process by which reports of any such suspected incursions can be made to the cognizant authorities. A new message to the fleet that will detail the steps for reporting is in drafts.”

Hmmmmm... A bit of history:

As they say - The Truth is Out There...

Done with lunch

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Working on the lawn today - raking and getting ready for reseeding. Also cleaning and refilling the hummingbird feeders. Got a couple crow decoys in the mail this morning so will be placing them around the yard to attract them to a feeding station. Hummingbirds, corvids and raptors are my three favorite birds.

Down here for another day or two but need to get up to the farm for a couple days.

Escalation in Israel

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The terrorists are escalating their war against Israel. Some headlines:

From that last link:

The Israeli military sent an additional tank brigade to the Gaza border on Sunday and prepared for fighting in the coming days after over 450 rockets and mortar shells were fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip over the course of 24 hours this weekend, killing an Israeli man and injuring several others.

In response to the attacks, the Israel Defense Forces said it bombed over 220 military targets in the Strip, causing considerable damage to terror groups’ facilities, but relatively few casualties in the densely populated coastal enclave.

These 9th century islamists are a scourge on the civilized world. They know nothing but hate and fear and live their life in ignorance. Islam needs a reformation.

Heh - bet they were not expecting that response - from Red State:

Democrats Attempt Twitter Poll About SCOTUS Justices. It Goes…Poorly
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), the organization working to elect Democrats to the United States Senate, posted a poll on their Twitter account Friday afternoon on the topic of Supreme Court Justices. It was an apparent attempt to encourage their followers on the issue of SCOTUS nominations — nominations that of course come from the President but must then clear the hurdle of the Senate. So far, the poll has not gone well for them.

The poll, which is still live for voting and scheduled to remain so for two more days, asks a simple question, “Do you want more Supreme Court justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg or do you want more justices like Brett Kavanaugh?”

The trouble with a poll like this is that while donors to the DSCC are obviously supportive of Democrats and their policies, and the majority of the DSCC’s Twitter followers likely are as well, Twitter is a public forum, and that poll isn’t exclusively accessible by Democrats.

Here are the results as of May 3rd:

20190505-dem01.JPG

And the poll should have still been running today but I went to the site and found this:

20190505-dem02.JPG

Had this poll simply reached the end of it's allotted time, it would have shown the final results and not allowed any more votes. The Democrats did not like the results they got so they pulled the entire thing offline. Didn't fit the narrative so get rid of it.

A good list - 88 Truths

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From raptitude.com - Getting better at being human:

88 Important Truths I’ve Learned About Life
Everyone gets drilled with certain lessons in life. Sometimes it takes repeated demonstrations of a given law of life to really get it into your skull, and other times one powerful experience drives the point home once forever. Here are 88 things I’ve discovered about life, the world, and its inhabitants by this point in my short time on earth.

A couple that caught my eye:

01. You can’t change other people, and it’s rude to try.
05. Everyone likes somebody who gets to the point quickly.
16. Cynicism is far too easy to be useful.
55. By default, people think far too much.
83. The fewer possessions you have, the more they do for you.

83 more at the site - some obvious stuff, some not so obvious, some downright insightful...

Some fine folks at the ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich did a study on CO2 emissions for electric cars. All of the emissions. From The Brussels Times:

Electric vehicles emit more CO2 than diesel ones, German study shows
When CO2 emissions linked to the production of batteries and the German energy mix - in which coal still plays an important role - are taken into consideration, electric vehicles emit 11% to 28% more than their diesel counterparts, according to the study, presented on Wednesday at the Ifo Institute in Munich.

Mining and processing the lithium, cobalt and manganese used for batteries consume a great deal of energy. A Tesla Model 3 battery, for example, represents between 11 and 15 tonnes of CO2. Given a lifetime of 10 years and an annual travel distance of 15,000 kilometres, this translates into 73 to 98 grams of CO2 per kilometre, scientists Christoph Buchal, Hans-Dieter Karl and Hans-Werner Sinn noted in their study.

The CO2 given off to produce the electricity that powers such vehicles also needs to be factored in, they say.

When all these factors are considered, each Tesla emits 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometre, which is more than a comparable diesel vehicle produced by the German company Mercedes, for example.

Here is the website for the Institute: ifo Institute for Economic Research

Here is the website for the study: ifo Schnelldienst: Electric Vehicles are not a Panacea for Climate Change

And to think of all of our tax dollars that have gone into subsidizing alt.energy and Tesla in general.

Burrito and a couple pints - back in a while. Got a lot for my brain to digest from the training session.

Happy Star Wars Day

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May the Fourth be with you.

North Korea - a two-fer

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Two stories broke today. First, from the UK Sun:

KIM JONG BOOM North Korea fires ‘several new missiles’ as tensions flare with the West
North Korea has fired several new missiles today as simmering tensions with the West have once again started heating up.

The weapons were fired towards the East Sea at around 9am local time just days after Kim Jong-un's regime threatened the US with "undesired consequences".

And a bit more:

Earlier this month, North Korea warned the US it faces "undesired consequences" if it doesn't meet its demands in nuclear talks by the end of the year.

Kim Jong-un's regime is demanding the Trump administration show more flexibility - or else it will go back on its promise to scrap its deadly nuclear arsenal.

Pyongyang says it will only ditch its weapons programme if the US agrees to scrap crippling economic sanctions on the country.

Kim is trying to have his cake and eat it too - he wants to continue developing nukes but he also wants a McDonalds in Pyongyang. Not gonna happen. Obama would have caved.

Second, from Reuters:

North Korea faces food crisis after poor harvest, U.N. says
Four in ten North Koreans are chronically short of food and further cuts to already minimal rations are expected after the worst harvest in a decade, the United Nations said on Friday.

Official rations are down to 300 grammes - under 11 ounces - per person per day, the lowest ever for this time of year, the U.N. said following a food security assessment it carried out at Pyongyang’s request from March 29 to April 12.

It found that 10.1 million people were suffering from severe food insecurity, “meaning they do not have enough food till the next harvest,” U.N. World Food Program spokesman Herve Verhoosel said.

And:

Verhoosel said the word “famine” was not being used in the current crisis, but it might come to that in a few months or years. “The situation is very serious today - that’s a fact.”

The country suffered a famine in the mid-1990s believed to have killed as many as 3 million people.

Ahhhhhhh - the joys of centralized state planning. The poor North Korean people are going to be in for such a shock when they join the Western world.

Back home - great class

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I don't know if it has anything to do with President Trump's being in office but FEMA has gotten a lot better in the last year / 18 months. Better class materials, more outreach to amateur radio and community preparedness groups. All good stuff.

And I am outta here

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Get some breakfast and then head to class - starts at 10:00AM

Say no more:

From Don Surber who writes:

Let the Neocons rant. No one cares because unemployment just slid to 3.6%. Wages now average $27.77, which is more than $57,000 a year. Inflation is low. The economy is growing at 3%-plus.

The experts all said no one wins a trade war, and yet Americans are doing their best since the 1960s. Things have not been this good since the Beatles broke up.

We have an American president who puts America first.

The people in the media and the federal government cannot stand him.

What does that tell you about those two institutions? Maybe we should ship them to Red China where they would be happier.

But I would rather ship to Red China steel made in Pittsburgh. Thanks to President Trump that may happen some day.

Speaking truth to power...

Back from Bellingham

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Went up to the condo to drop off more stuff to sell - sorting and cleaning out much of the storage locker I have down here. Still keeping it for a while as it makes an excellent buffer when bringing things down from the farm. Drop off the load at the locker and then sort when I have the spare time.

Thawing out some pulled pork for tacos for dinner tonight. Probably head out for a couple of beers later - turned into a nice warm day so feel like chillin' a little bit and do not want to deal with tomorrow's Cinco de Mayo tomfoolery. Talk about amateur hour.

Ripping some more disks from the library - up over 18K individual songs.

Made some more nectar for the hummingbirds - starting to get quite a few visiting the feeder. A lot more nectar is being drunk. Almost out of sugar - that was a 25 pound bag from Costco.

Got a training session tomorrow in Mt. Vernon - the local emergency community is really good.

Well crap - RIP Peter Mayhew

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From Variety:

Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew From ‘Star Wars’ Dies at 74
“Star Wars” actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original trilogy, died on Tuesday, his family announced on his Twitter. He was 74.

He died at his North Texas home surrounded by his family, read the Twitter statement.

Though he spoke entirely in growls, snarls, and the occasional roar, Chewbacca’s unwavering loyalty to Han Solo made him one of the most beloved characters in the franchise. Much more than just the hairy co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon, Chewie’s dependability and trustworthiness helped the iconic Wookiee function as the series’ ultimate “wing man.”

He was discovered by producer Charles H. Schneer while working as a hospital attendant in London, and cast in Ray Harryhausen’s “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.” The next year, he was cast as Chewbacca, the 200-year-old Wookiee.

Truly a class act. He will be missed.

And she is outta here - from Boingboing: (Previously here and here)

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigns over book grift scandal
Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh is resigning. Her residences and offices have been raided by the FBI and IRS, and she is under federal and state investigations for what sure as heck look like crime-y acts involving unbelievably lucrative sales of her self-published children’s book series, 'Healthy Holly.'

Pugh is a Democrat and a former state lawmaker. Her troubles began in March, when the Baltimore Sun and other news outlets reported on her super high-value book deals with companies that do business with Baltimore city and the state of Maryland.

A long history of Democrat rule - Maryland's governor is a Republican but Baltimore's last Republican Mayor was Theodore R. McKeldin who served one-term from 1963 to 1967. Baltimore is #5 in the top cities for murder rates - 10.6 times the overal USA average.

From Los Angeles station KTLA:

Sierra Snowpack Is Measured at 188% of Average in Final Survey of the Year
California water officials say cities and farms can expect ample water supplies this summer after winter storms blanketed the Sierra Nevada, nearly doubling the snowpack average for this time of year.

The Department of Water Resources said Thursday the fifth and final survey at Phillips Station recorded 47 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 27.5 inches. That’s 188 percent of average for the location near Lake Tahoe.

And our Sun still remains quiet and very sunspot-free.

Two from The Don

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Retired journalist (one of the good ones - actually concerned about facts, not The Narrative) Don Surber had two excellent posts today:

First:

Netflix releases details of $65 million bribe to Obama
Barack Obama will rake in about a billion bucks off his presidency. The presidency already has cost Donald John Trump a billion.

So far, Netflix gave the biggest bribe: $65 million to produce seven films.

(That ain't working. That's the way you do it. Money for nothing and your flicks for free.)

And Second:

Bill Barr may be Trumpier than Trump
A reader pointed out to me the Trumpiest moment in Attorney General Bill Barr's cross-examination by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Barr put in his place Dick Blumenthal, D-Stolen Valor.

Via Thomas Lifson, the transcript.

Blumenthal: "Did you make a memorandum of your conversation?"
Barr: "No, I didn't."
Blumenthal: "Did anyone, either you or anyone on your staff, memorialize your conversation with Robert Mueller?"
Barr: "Yes."
Blumenthal: "May we have those notes?"
Barr: "No."
Blumenthal: "Why not?"
Barr: "Why should you have them?"

I love it. The Attorney General is head of the Judicial Branch as well as a member of the President's Cabinet. They are not part of the Legislative branch. Congress does have oversight of the president but it's powers are strictly enumerated by the Constitution and the Amendments. Don writes:

He could have been a nice guy and released the notes, but why? When was Washington ever nice to us?

So sadly true. They detest us normals - we interfere with their power grabbing.

Still on the island

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Got done with bill paying, some phone calls and other paperwork and it is too late to drive up today.

Class on Saturday so heading up for a few days Sunday or Monday. Fixing a bowl of soup and a toasted baguette piece for dinner.

From The Hill:

Conservatives seize on Alabama state Dem's abortion comments
Republicans pounced Wednesday on remarks made by an Alabama state representative opposing a state bill that would criminalize abortion.

State Rep. John Rogers (D) said abortion "ought to be a woman’s choice," before adding, "Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or you kill them later."

"You bring them in the world unwanted, unloved, and you send them to the electric chair. So, you kill them now or you kill them later,” he continued, according to a video posted online.

This may be the truth for some people but anyone in public office should understand that sometimes, a little restraint is in order...

Out the door

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Heading up to the farm this afternoon. Got a class Saturday morning so back for that. More spew in a few hours...

So true - happiness

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Swiped from Chris Lynch:

20190502-happiness.jpg

From Central Washington University Geology Professor Nick Zentner:

Roadside Geology Series
Produced by Central Washington University.  These episodes were created for a local television station that no longer lives....but these programs remain.  Filmed by Rick Spencer & Chris Smart.  Edited by Rick Spencer.  2011 - 2012.

Here is the first one:

Fake News gets its comeuppance

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Pure schedenfreude - from Forbes:

CNN Drops 26% In Prime Time As Fox News Dominates April Cable Ratings
CNN's prime time hosts can only hope it will be better in the new building.

As CNN prepares to move its prime time studios and operations to a glitzy new building at New York City's brand new--and widely reviled--Hudson Yards development, the network saw its prime time lineup drop 26% in April compared to the same month one year ago. CNN's total audience in prime time was well under a million viewers--767,000--while competitors MSNBC and Fox News finished the month far ahead: MSNBC in second place overall with 1.660 million total viewers, and Fox News leading all of cable with a total audience of 2.395 million.

Gee - sagging ratings coupled with spending wads of money on a spiffy new headquarters. Sounds like the CNN management is out of touch with reality. They are beholden to the progressive narrative and fail to grasp that us normals are sick and tired of the perpetual Trump-bashing and constant hectoring. Wonder how many years until they are forced to declare bankruptcy. I am guessing less than two.

Taking a break from work

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Shelving prices have gone up a lot - a simple set of five wire metal shelves with standards and brackets would have been well over $100 for just five shelves at 32" long. Screw that. The house has a lot of exposed wood inside so I am going to continue the theme and use hardwood playwood. Have a couple of sheets at the farm so taking my track saw up tomorrow and breaking them down to manageble size - should be able to get everything out of two sheets and have enough left over for another shelving project as well.

Had a hot dog at Costco and probably do a salad and can of soup for dinner. Meeting tonight at 6:00PM.

Out the door

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Library opens at 10AM today, see if my barber is available (he was not earlier - opens at 9:00 but not there today) and pick up some stuff for building some shelves in the media room.

Listing some items on Craigslist - musical instruments I no longer use. Working on the computer 100% of the time. The technology has gotten really good (and cheap) in the last ten years.

A visitor to the island

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Had a visitor on April 25th:

20190501-bear.jpgFrom the Stanwood Camano News:

Rare visit is first confirmed island sighting in recent memory
Camano Island had an unusual visitor on Thursday when a black bear rambled around the island’s northeast end.

The rare sighting marks the first time in recent memory a bear was confirmed to have set foot on the island, according to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials.

“I’m not aware of any bears that live on the island,” state Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Jennifer Maurstad said. “We get reports of from time to time of bears and cougars, but we haven’t had a confirmed sighting of either until Thursday.”

The bear was photographed and recorded on video walking near Smith and Juniper Beach roads. Black bears likely used to roam the island years ago, so it’s not surprising the large mammals could venture across the tidal flats to Camano — especially now.

This is about three miles from my house. I love bears but am glad that I took my bird seed feeders down a month ago. Just have the hummingbird feeders up for now.

Back from coffee

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Working on some stuff around the house today - meeting later tonight. Head up to the farm for a few days tomorrow.

Trumps tax records

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From Peter Grant:

20190501-records.jpg

June 2019

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